UPA didn't take adequate steps post 26/11: Sitharaman

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UPA didn't take adequate steps post 26/11: Sitharaman

Friday, 15 March 2019 | Sapna Singh | NEW DELHI

Delhi BJP State In-charge and Union Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharama  on Thursday said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) did not take adequate steps post 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

“There would have been more punitive actions that were required against such  a dastardly terror strike,” said Sitharaman while addressing Delhi BJP workers in executive meet at Pandit Pant Marg on Thursday.

Echoing the Balakot air strikes, the Union Minister exhorted  workers not to be affected by the questions raised about the airstrike and urged them to be on the offensive rather being defensive in dealing with the issues that concern national security.

The State executive meet was chaired by Sitharaman, who has been election incharge of the Delhi State. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always talked about zero tolerance policy against terrorism. “Whatever had to be done after 26/11 Mumbai attacks was not done by the previous Government. Had it been more proactive, there would have been more deterrence,” she added.

Attacking those questioning the IAF air strikes on terror camps in Balakot, Sitharaman said even during the time of Kargil war, Pakistan did not accept those people who laid down their lives for them and their bodies were buried in India as the neighbouring country did not even claim them.

“You should not expect Pakistan to give proof or accept their terrorist centre was attacked by us. I am not citing any numbers, but you should not expect they will accept any numbers. They will never accept it,” she said.

Referring to 26/11 mastermind Ajmal Kasab, the senior BJP leader said that even when 26/11 attacker Kasab was  caught red-handed, Pakistan denied point blank that Kasab was a Pakistani. 

The  Defence Minister also mentioned about recent Pulwama attack in which 42 Jawans of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were martyred. “Our Government waited for 10-12 days and after getting intelligence inputs that suicide bombers were set to launch attacks again, the air force struck their camps in Pakistan,” said Sithraman, adding, “we waited for 10-12 days for Pakistan to take action against terrorists, to get them to vacate their properties, to demolish their buildings, but they did nothing.”

“They were not in those camps that were close o the border but were in deep inside their territory and we attacked them. We had intelligence inputs rather than going to wage war,” she asserted.

Attacking Congress for targeting BJP over the release of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar after the hijack of an Indian Airlines flight in 1999,  “The decision to free him was taken at an all-party meeting,” the Defence Minister said.

She also questioned the previous Governments for not taking any action against Azhar when he was lodged in jail in India from 1994-1999.

“You tolerated that terrorist. There was an all-party meeting at the time of Kandahar hijack and it was decided that he would be freed to secure the release of more than 160 passengers who were on board the hijacked flight,” she said.

Meanwhile , Shyam Jaju, Delhi BJP in charge, Manoj Tiwari , Delhi BJP State president and Vijender Gupta , Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Delhi Assembly also addressed the BJP executives.

 “On the one hand there are people protecting the country and the other people compromising with the interest of the country,” Jaju said. Rajesh Bhatia, General Secretary  said that under the chairmanship of Sitharaman, a district and zone level committees have been formed which will spread the achievements of Modi Government through door to door campaigning.a