Tell world reasons for IAF strikes: Parliament panel

New Delhi: A parliamentary panel on Friday suggested the government tell the global community more extensively and emphatically the reasons behind India’s targeted attack on terror camps in Pakistan. The suggestion came in New Delhi during a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, briefed by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale. Top officials of the External Affairs Ministry were present.

The meeting comes after India’s attack on terror camps in the neighbouring country, followed by Pakistan’s aerial incursion. According to sources, the members of the panel, headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, suggested the government tell the international community more extensively and emphatically that it was not an attack on Pakistan but a targeted attack on terror camps and terrorism.

Foreign Secretary Gokhale briefed the members of the parliamentary panel on the sequence of events from the air strikes on terror camps in Pak to how the Indian forces foiled Pakistan’s aerial incursion by shooting down one of their F-16 fighter jets in a dogfight which also led to the loss of one of India’s MiG-21 Bison fighter jets, sources said.

All members of the panel hailed the action of the Indian Air Force and called it a “heroic job”. Sources added Gokhale was also asked about the third-party intervention by the US and the UAE, to which he responded he “could not speak for US President Trump”.

Trump had on Thursday said the US had been “going at it” and had been involved in trying to have India and Pakistan de-escalate the matter. The US President had said there is “some reasonably decent news” and hopefully it’s coming to an end.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, also a member of the panel, was not present.

Sources said the foreign secretary also informed the members about how India got the support of the members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on the issue where External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is a guest of honour. A member present in the meeting called the meeting “good and constructive” and said the purpose of the meeting was part of “parliamentary accountability”.

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