Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Wednesday that the major share of credit for the surgical strikes across the LoC goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Addressing a gathering at a conference in Navi Mumbai, Mr. Parrikar said, “All Indians, including those ‘doubting Thomases’ can share the credit…that should settle the nerves of many people,” Mr. Parrikar said, taking a dig at political parties accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of seeking to reap political benefits from the strikes in the wake of elections in some of the States.“I don’t mind sharing credit including surgical strikes with every countrymen of this great country because it is done by our armed forces and not by any political party,” he said.
When asked about the accusations against the BJP, Mr. Parrikar said, “I made it clear I am not making any big deal about it. The credit should go to the 127 crore Indians and the Indian army. The politicization of surgical strikes is wrong and I don’t want to say anything on the strikes because if I will comment any further, you yourself will say that am seeking political gains.”
Denying allegations that the government leaked some information about the strikes, he said, “We have not leaked any information, Indian Army has openly declared it in a media briefing, the information was given by DGMO. There is difference between ‘overt’ operation and ‘covert’ operation. In covert operation, there is no responsibility . All we [the government] have done is asked them [the Army] to tell the nation, what ever they have done.”
When asked about the Pakistan government decision of imposing a travel ban on a journalist over reports of a rift between the civil and military leaderships, the Defence Minister said, “My comment can’t be different from yours. Democratic country should never ever touch the freedom of press. Free press helps government to improve its performance. They [Pakistan] are not bothered about their performance.”(THE HINDU,2016).