New Delhi: Lashing out at those seeking clarity on the damage and casualties inflicted by Indian air strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Balakot, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said Pakistan itself had given proof of the aerial bombing.
“Why would they wake up at 5am and tweet? We were quiet. Pakistan itself has given proof. It's not that India claimed the attacks first,” the PM said in an interview with News18 Network Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi when asked whether he would provide proof as the opposition has demanded.
Rejecting such demands, the PM said “this kind of language motivates the enemy, confuses the nation and demoralises our soldiers”.
Several opposition leaders lately have demanded proof that the IAF missiles had hit the targets as well as proof of the casualty figures after some BJP leaders, including its chief, made differing claims about the death toll and international media reports contested India’s version of events.
The PM, however, said that at a time like this, everyone must speak in one language to boost our soldiers' pride and honour their valour.
“There have been many wars earlier. Did anyone use such language then? Never,” the PM said adding that it is Congress’s hunger for power that they are resorting to such statements.
The Balakot air strike, which India conducted in February, and the following aerial dogfight between India and Pakistan has been a topic of debate.
At a joint press conference conducted by the three forces after Balakot, the IAF had said that they did not count the dead. BJP chief Amit Shah, however, claimed that over 250 terrorists were killed. Pakistan has been denying any damage.
Modi told News18 that nobody in India believed what Pakistan or its Prime Minister Imran Khan said and that the country had “zero credibility in India.” “But, unfortunately, the opposition here speaks the same language as Pakistan. That is a cause for concern. India keeps having elections. There is an election every six months. So it's wrong to link the Balakot strike to elections,” Modi added.
Pakistan has time and again raked up the issue of war mongering by the Modi-led government because of the elections. The opposition, too, has slammed the BJP for politicising the airstrike with senior Congress leader Manish Tewari accusing the BJP of “milking” the air strikes for political gains.
(The full interview will be aired today at 7pm and 10pm on CNN-News18, News18 India, CNBC TV18 and other News18 regional channels.)