NCP chief Sharad Pawar, in an attempt to malign PM Narendra Modi’s statements of “hitting the enemy in his home”, raked up the Balakot airstrike once again, claiming that it actually took place in Kashmir and not in Pakistan.
During a live chat on Facebook, Pawar said, “It made a great impression on the people, especially the youth when they perceived Mr Modi talking tough on Pakistan after the Pulwama terror strike. However, people do not know what’s going on in the Line of Control (LoC) and have no access to information on the exact situation there. So, after the PM’s triumphal announcement of the Balakot air strikes, the public thought some action had been taken against Pakistan whereas the strikes took place in Kashmir,” said the NCP chief.
Ahead of the state Assembly elections in Maharashtra scheduled towards the end of this year, the NCP-Congress alliance is trying its best to keep its flock together with reports of the possibility of multiple defections to the BJP. The NCP-Congress alliance suffered huge electoral losses in the state in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections. Together, they won only five seats, while the BJP secured 23 seats and its ally Shiv Sena bagged 18 seats.
Moreover, accusing the BJP of creating a rift among different communities for electoral gains, Pawar during his live chat warned that one community standing against another was dangerous for the country’s social harmony.
In the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, the Indian Air Force had conducted air strikes on three locations of Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Chakoti and Muzafarrabad in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK). The Indian Air Force fighter planes dropped had 1000 kg bombs on terror camps across the Line of Control in Pakistan during early hours of February 26 to avenge the Pulwama terror attack.
Since then the Balakot airstrike has been a raging topic of debate in the political arena. Even though neutral sources confirmed the airstrike, the usual suspects from the opposition like Congress’ Digvijaya Singh, Ashok Gehlot, Kapil Sibal, Sam Pitroda, Kamal Nath, Captain Amarinder Singh have raised their doubts about these strikes and demanded proof to pin down Modi.
However, with this statement now, Sharad Pawar, one of the veteran Indian politician who had admittedly added an extra bomb blast during the 1993 bomb blasts of Mumbai to portray that Muslims were the victims too, has also joined the long list of opposition leaders who have not only questioned the Balakot airstrikes but have also floated conspiracy theories regarding the Pulwama terror attack.