Virtually dismissing Congress’s claim of conducting surgical strikes across LoC during the UPA rule, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that there was no such Army operation in his knowledge. “I’m Defence Minister for two years, and from whatever I have learnt, there’s no surgical strike anytime earlier. What probably they are quoting are what is called as action taken by Border Action Teams.”
Mr Parikar was speaking at an event hosted by Forum for Integrated National Security in Mumbai.
Parrikar further said that ‘these (action by Border Action Teams) are common practices across the globe and also in Indian Army. A local commander takes punitive action against an opponent who has been troubling him to settle scores. It’s not an official action approved by the government and that’s why it is called covert operation, without the knowledge of anyone. The report is subsequently issued,” he said.
Speaking about the September 29 surgical strike, the Defence minister said: “In this case a decision was taken and conveyed. Of course the execution was done superbly by the army they have done their job properly but there was a decision and which was announced by army itself – DGMO. If we had to take political credit for it, Defence Minister would have announced it. We have not announced it. It is Indian Armed Forces DGMO who announced the outcome and informed of the action taken by Indian military. The difference is that this is a covert operation which clearly indicates the intent of the Indian Army which was carried out.”
The minister gave whole credit of the surgical strikes to Indian Army and the people of India. “We don’t take credit for the strike. One should understand government takes decision and that government should be cheered. 127 crores people of this country and the Indian armed forces deserve the credit for the surgical strikes, said Parrikar.