Sitharaman asserts Balakot airstrike did not amount to politicisation

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has refuted opposition accusation that the Modi government is politicising operations by armed forces. She made it clear that she was against the same but clarified that the government’s course of action regarding the Balakot airstrike did not amount to politicisation. She went on to call it the ‘strong political will of the of the government’.

Referring to a letter written to President Ram Nath Kovind by veterans of the Indian armed forces expressing concern over the matter, the Defence Minister said that the issue was lost after some of the senior retired personnel named in the letter said they “neither signed it nor were a party to it”.

“All of us will have to be conscious that we do not do anything which could raise questions on our credibility. Even if one individual has a problem and says that I have not signed it (the letter) or I am not a party to it, then the credibility of the whole appeal is lost,” she added.

Calling Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s statement- ‘India-Pak have a better chance of settling Kashmir issue only if Modi’s BJP wins’, a  ploy by the Congress, she said that such statements come around at the time of elections in India.

She added that it comes as no surprise as there have been eminent Congress leaders who’ve gone there to seek help ‘Modi hatane ke liye madad karo business’.

Defence Minister also reacted to Pakistan Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi claiming that India will strike between April 16-20 and said she finds it ‘fanciful’ as well as ‘amusing’. She added that she has no idea from where he got this date and wished Shah good luck for the same.

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