Congress criticises Modi over 'boastful claim' on 'surgical strike' in Pakistan
The Indian National Congress on Thursday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his "boastful" claims of the 2016 'surgical strike' in Pakistani territory, a claim repeated by Modi on the sidelines of the ongoing Commonwealth Summit.
During an event in London on Wednesday, Modi had said India would not tolerate those who like to "export terror" and will respond to them "in the language they understand", referring to the 2016 so-called surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC).
He had claimed that before making the news of the 'surgical strikes' public, India had repeatedly attempted to contact Pakistan government to inform them about the operation.
Modi misled by military commanders: Asif
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif also responded to the claims made by Narendra Modi, terming them an attempt to "shore up [his] dwindling public support". Asif alleged that India's premier was being misled by his military commanders.
The foreign minister asserted that the Indian army was involved in "worst atrocities and war crimes in Kashmir and elsewhere in India".
Earlier on Thursday, Pakistan's Foreign Office (FO) rubbished the claims, saying: "Constant repetition of a fallacious claim does not make it real. The Indian government is increasingly sounding like a broken record."
On Friday, India's opposition Congress party also denounced Modi's statements, terming them a "disaster", according to Times of India.
In a statement issued by Congress' senior spokesperson, Anand Sharma, the opposition party said: "Prime Minister Modi's cavalier conduct of foreign policy at the Commonwealth Summit in London and the bilateral meeting with the British prime minister is hurting India's national interests."
"The prime minister's 'boastful' claims on surgical strike neutralising cross-border terror is 'embarrassing'," he was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.
"He needs a firm reminder that India engages with its strategic partner countries with maturity and gravitas, and does not take sides or make an uninformed statement on issues of disputes between two strategic partner countries," Sharma said.
Read: Mystery of the ‘surgical strike’
"The BJP government's Pakistan policy is a disaster. It is both unfortunate and unbecoming of him to say that India's prime minister speaks to Pakistan in its own language," he added.
In the same statement, Sharma accused Pakistan of being home to a terror syndicate and vowed to stand with Indian forces in any action it takes against terrorism.
On September 28, 2016, India had claimed that the country carried out 'surgical strikes' on seven terror launch pads across the LoC, inflicting "significant casualties".
The Pakistan military, however, had swiftly rubbished the notions of a surgical strike, saying: "This quest by the Indian establishment to create media hype by rebranding cross-border fire as a surgical strike is fabrication of the truth. Pakistan has made it clear that if there is a surgical strike on Pakistani soil, the same will be strongly responded."