'Apologise For?': Shashi Tharoor On BJP's Attack On Pulwama

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor was responding to a tweet by Union Minister Prakash Javadekar (File)

New Delhi:

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor today dismissed BJP demands for an apology from his party for questions posed to the government after the Pulwama terror attack in February last year. Mr Tharoor said he was “still trying to figure out what the Congress is supposed to apologise for…”.

“I am still trying to figure out what the Congress is supposed to apologise for. For expecting the government to keep our soldiers safe? For rallying around the flag rather than politicising a national tragedy? For expressing condolences to the families of our martyrs?” he said.

On Friday Union Minister Prakash Javadekar referred to a sensational claim by a Pakistan minister – that his country was responsible for the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed after a suicide bomber rammed a car into a military convoy.

“Pakistan has admitted its hand behind Pulwama terror attack. Now, Congress… who talked of conspiracy theories must apologise to the country,” Mr Javadekar tweeted, referring to statements by Congress leaders earlier this year, including Rahul Gandhi and Mr Tharoor.

In February, on the first anniversary of the attack, Mr Gandhi tweeted three questions and sought to know the outcome of an inquiry into the attack. Mr Tharoor also spoke out, saying that it was an “insult” to the soldiers who had been killed that there were no clear answers.

In August the NIA named Pak-based terror mastermind Masood Azhar and his brother, Rauf Asghar, as key conspirators behind the attack. The 13,500-page charge-sheet listed 19 accused and details how the planning and execution of one of the deadliest terror attacks in Kashmir was done from Pakistan, where Masood Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammad is based.

On Thursday Pakistan minister Fawad Chaudhury had said: “Humne Hindustan ko ghus ke maara (We hit India in their home)”. He later claimed to NDTV that his statement had been “misinterpreted”. “Pakistan doesn’t allow any terrorism, I was misinterpreted,” he said.

The Pulwama attack – which took place weeks before last year’s Lok Sabha election – and the ensuing air strikes by the Air Force, triggered political sparring over a narrative built by the BJP around a tough policy against terror that the party repeatedly raised during campaigning.

The Congress and Left were among several who accused the BJP of capitalising on the issue.

This morning Prime Minister Narendra Modi also hit out at the opposition over its stand on Pulwama, saying the Pakistan minister’s revelations had exposed the opposition’s real face.


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