Surgical strikes in the past too but govt went public for the first time: Foreign secretary Jaishankar

Surgical strikes in the past too but govt went public for the first time: Foreign secretary Jaishankar

Submitted by Kumuda on Wed, 2016-10-19 15:21 New Delhi: In a stark contrast to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s claim that no surgical strikes were carried out in the past, foreign secretary S Jaishankar told the Parliamentary panel on External Affairs – on Tuesday – that the army carried out "target specific, limited-calibre, counter-terrorist operations" across the LoC in the past too. But, this is for the first time the government has gone public about it. According to sources, Jaishankar gave this information when he was specifically asked by MPs whether surgical strikes have been done in the past.   "Professionally done, target-specific, limited calibre counter-terrorist operations" have been carried out across the LoC in the past too, but this is for the first time that the government has made it public," according to sources present in the meeting. The top diplomat's comments assume significance in the context of claims by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar last week rejecting Congress's claims that surgical strikes were undertaken during the UPA government too. During the two-and-a-half-hour meeting, Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Bipin Rawat also provided details of the strikes. A Congress member wanted to know whether similar operations could be carried out in the future. To which the government representatives said the strikes were carried out after a "lot has been suffered". When the member asked about the casualty they could inflict on the terrorists, the officials said the army had crossed the LoC to carry out strikes and not to collect evidence. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who is a member of the Committee, attended the meet but did not ask questions, a member said. On China recently extending the technical hold on India's efforts for a UN ban on chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group and Pathankot attack mastermind Masood Azhar, the Foreign Secretary said New Delhi is working on the issue.