Congress cites Ajit Doval’s 2010 interview, says he gave ‘clean chit’ to JeM chief

A day after the Congress president Rahul Gandhi alleged that National Security Advisor Ajit  Doval, believed to be a confidante of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was instrumental in releasing Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar during Vajpayee regime, the Congress today came out with DOval’s earlier interview, in which he had reportedly given `clean chit’ to Masood.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted citing the old interview of 2019, in which Doval had said that “releasing Masood Azhar was a political decision”.

Surjewala went on to highlight a portion of Doval’s interview in which he is quoted as saying:” Masood Azhar doesn’t know how to fabricate an IED. Neither he is a marksman”. The Congress also claimed Doval said that Jammu and Kashmir’s tourism improved by 200 per cent after Azhar’s release.

“You might remember Masood Azhar. During the previous government of the 56-inch people, today’s NSA (National Security Advisor) Ajit Doval went in an aircraft with Masood Azhar ji and handed him over,” Gandhi said yesterday at a party function in Delhi.

Masood Azhar and two other terrorists were released from India in 1999 by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in exchange for the passengers held hostage on board IC-814 flight hijacked to Kandahar in Afghanistan. The three terrorists were freed after negotiations with the hijackers, in which MR Doval was involved, failed.

Azhar formed Jaish-e-Mohammed after his release from jail. Since then, Jaish has been involved in terrorist attacks in India.

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