New Delhi/Agra: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday said there is no reason to release the video of the surgical strikes across the Line of Control after what has been brought out by media on the army action.
Seeking to bring an end to the demand for disclosure of evidence of the strikes conducted across the Line of Control (LoC), he said: “After the telecast of the interview of the Pakistan police officer by a news channel on the surgical strikes, there is no reason left to release the video of the strike.”
Addressing an event organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party in Agra, Parrikar, referring to the reports carried by the media in which people from across the LoC had said that strikes took place, said: “No more proof is needed.. the media has given enough proof.”
CNN News18 news channel had reported on Wednesday a a senior Pakistani police official disclosing that at least five Pakistani soldiers and an unspecified number of militants were killed in the strikes.
The Indian Express on Wednesday also reported that eyewitnesses from across the LoC had confirmed brief but intense firing during during the strikes of September 29 and how the bodies of those killed were loaded onto trucks for secret burial.
Parrikar lauded the army for the surgical strikes and termed them as “perfect”.
“I am proud of our soldiers, when asked to conduct a surgical strike, not only they conducted a strike but achieved hundred per cent success. World would not have seen such a perfect surgical strike ever. Our soldiers are capable of performing a perfect strike which is not heard even from forces of the leading nations.”
He went to tell the audience that “under the leadership of (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi the borders of India are safe”.
Attack the opposition, who had demanded proof, he said: “On one hand, I am asking you to be assured but on the other hand there are elements in the country who have raised question on the bravery of the Indian forces. I don’t wish to name them.”
The Minister thanked and praised retired servicemen for writing to him and expressing their desire to serve at the border in case of war.
The comments came amid continued tension along the India-Pakistan border following the attack on an Indian Army camp at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir, which left 19 soldiers dead, and the surgical strike on September 29 on terror launch pads across the LoC in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
Earlier in the day, Parrikar, addressing the 20th Asean Regional Forum Heads of Defence Universities meet in Delhi, stressed that terrorism remains the foremost challenge to the region, and called for delegitimising it as an instrument of state policy.
“Terrorism remains foremost challenge to our (Asean) region. We need to oppose terrorism resolutely everywhere, delegitimise it as an instrument of state policy, and cooperate unreservedly to locate and destroy terrorist networks.
“The security frameworks in our (Asean) region still does not give enough attention to terrorism. This must change,” he said according to an official statement.
Parrikar also referred to the maritime domain as a key enabler of prosperity that faces a wide spectrum of threats and reiterated India’s support for freedom of navigation, over-flights and unimpeded lawful commerce, based on principles of international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea.
The three-day meet is being attended by representatives of 23 member nations and organisations including China, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Russia, EU and Asean Secretariat.
India last hosted the meet in October 2003 in New Delhi.
The main theme is ‘Transformation of military education to meet the challenges of 21st Century’.