Taking a swipe at the opposition for questioning the impact of the IAF strike on JeM terror camp in Balakot, Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh on Wednesday said, “it was not possible for him to count the mosquitoes that he kills at night”.
In a tweet in Hindi, in reference to the pre-dawn air strikes on January 26, Singh said, “Last night at 3.30 am there were too many mosquitoes, so I used HIT (repellant). Now should I start counting how many mosquitoes I killed or should I go back to sleep?”
The sparring between the government and the opposition intensified after BJP chief Amit Shah on Sunday claimed that “more than 250” terrorists were killed in the operation, even when the government is yet to give out an official count of the terrorists killed.
रात ३.३० बजे मच्छर बहुत थे,
तो मैंने HIT मारा।
अब मच्छर कितने मारे, ये गिनने बैठूँ,
या आराम से सो जाऊँ? #GenerallySaying
— Vijay Kumar Singh (@Gen_VKSingh) March 6, 2019
Earlier on Tuesday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh attacked those questioning the veracity of the strikes insisting people who do that are indulging in politics over the valour of the armed forces.
Singh claimed that the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) has informed the security establishment about the presence of around 300 “active” mobile phones at the training camp site before the IAF bombing.
Charging the opposition with doing politics over the “valour and sacrifice” of defence personnel, the minister advised the Congress, which been demanding proof of the retaliatory assault and casualties in the aftermath of the Pulwama suicide bombing that left over 44 CRPF men dead, to go to Pakistan and count the bodies if they indeed wanted to ascertain the number of fatalities.
He mocked the opposition over its demand for the number of fatalities, wondering why its leaders were asking “kitne mare, kitne mare?” (how many were killed?)”
“Should our Air Force personnel count the bodies after the attack — 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…? What is this joke,” he asked.
On Tuesday, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman broke her silence while refusing to confirm a casualty figure.
“The foreign secretary gave the statement; that is the figure,” she said.
Following the Pulwama terror attack, India carried out “non-military pre-emptive” airstrikes targeting the JeM training camp in Balakot in Pakistan’s restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, about 80-km from the Line of Control (LoC) early on February 26.
Hours after the pre-dawn offensive, the Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had said that “India has struck the biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot eliminating a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commander and jihadis in the operation”.