Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Sunday that calling those raising questions on the Indian Air Force (IAF) strike on Balakot anti-national baffles her.

In a series of tweets, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief said that the opposition should not fall in “this trap of changing the national discourse”.

“Calling those who question the veracity of Balakot strikes anti national is baffling,” tweeted Mufti.

“However the opposition should not fall into this trap of changing the entire election discourse from pressing issues like demonetisation, GST, unemployment, farmers distress to these strikes,” she added.

Mufti, whose party was an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the J-K government from 2015 to 2018, said that any discourse focussed only on the Balakot strike will help the saffron party electorally.

“Presently when war frenzy & jingoism in the guise of patriotism is at an all time high, allowing political discourse to be reduced to the Balakot strikes will only help BJP electorally,” she said, adding, “It’s no wonder that the Rafale deal, unemployment , poor eco growth are fading into oblivion.”

 

Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s accusation that opposition parties are demoralising the forces by raising questions on the air strike, Mufti said that it is a right of every citizen of the country to question its “credibility”.

“As citizens of this country, we have every right to question the credibility of the Balakot operation. Esp due to GoIs ambiguity about the details,” she tweeted.

“How does it help the enemies? Only puts GoI in a tight spot since they want to exploit this to reap electoral benefits,” she added.

Addressing a massive rally at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan on Sunday, the PM accused the Congress and other opposition parties of trying to demoralise the forces.

“Now they have even started asking for proof of the air strike. Why are Congress and its allies demoralising our forces? Why are they giving statements which are benefiting our enemies?” he asked at the rally.

Read More: PM Modi slams opposition for demanding proof of IAF air strike

The PM said that instead of motivating the forces the opposition was indulging in acts that “brought smiles on the faces of enemies of the country”.

On Saturday, too, the PM had said that it was unfortunate that some parties and people are trying questioning the bravery of the defence forces.

“At a time when the entire world is supporting India in its actions against terrorism, there are some people and parties who are questioning the integrity of our defence forces,” the PM had said at the India Today Conclave.

The PM said that he is open to criticism of his policies but opposition to him should not help terrorists such as Maulana Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed gain.

“The country has suffered a lot due to selfish interests earlier and now politics over Rafale. I clearly ask them (the Opposition) to oppose Modi, point out loopholes in our schemes and criticise the government on the results of its schemes, but do not oppose the security interests of the country,” the PM added.

On Saturday Congress leader Digvijaya Singh triggered a major controversy by asking for “proof” of the Indian Air Force (IAF) strike on Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot.

“I am not raising questions on the operation, but this is the technical age and satellite pictures are possible. Like USA had given solid proof of the Osama operation to the world, we should also do it for our air strike,” he said during a press interaction in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore.

Read More | We should give proof of our air strike like US did in Osama case: Digvijaya Singh

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was among the first to have raised questions on the IAF strike and demanded that the government should reveal operational details such as number of terrorists killed and location of the bombing.