Manish Tewari questions UPA Govt.’s reaction to 26/11 attacks

Congress leader says Govt. should have “actioned a kinetic response”

Days before the 13th anniversary of the 26/11 attacks, senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha member Manish Tewari on Tuesday triggered a political controversy by questioning the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s response to those attacks.

In his yet to be released book, ‘10 Flash Points; 20 Years – National Security Situations that Impacted India’, Mr. Tewari said restraint is not a sign of strength but perceived as weakness and asserted that “India should have actioned a kinetic response in the days following India’s 9/11”.

While the BJP used the comments to embarrass UPA’s track record on national security, the Congress spokesperson said the party won’t comment without reading the book in detail.

Mr. Tewari, however, stated that he was amused at BJP’s reaction on one excerpt from a 304 page book and wondered how it would react to his ‘hard analysis’ of national security under their government.

The contents of the book are not public yet as the book will be released on December 2 but the publishers, Rupa, released certain extracts and they were tweeted by Mr. Tewari.

“For a state that has no compunctions in brutally slaughtering hundreds of innocent people, restraint is not a sign of strength, it is perceived as a symbol of weakness,”Mr Tewari wrote, adding,” There comes a time when actions must speak louder than words. 26/11 was one such time when it just should have been done. It therefore, is my considered opinion that India should have actioned a kinetic response in the days following India’s 9/11”.

Doklam crisis

In another extract, the Congress leader has also been critical of the Narendra Modi government handling of the Doklam crisis.

“However, in July 2018, the Defence and Finance Ministers of the subsequent Modi-led government shelved all the plans of raising a mountain strike corps against China citing financial constraints. Mounting pressure on the LAC leading to the Doklam crisis in 2017 could have been averted, provided the mountain strike corps would have been raised, trained, resourced and efficaciously deployed. Scrapping the mountain strike corps is perhaps the greatest disservice that this government did to India’s national security,” the Congress leader wrote.

While ignoring the comment about the Modi government, the BJP focussed on the UPA’s handling of the 26/11 attacks.

Asked to respond, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said,”We are firm about issues that affect the people in their everyday lives. The BJP wants to divert attention by raising sich issues but we won’t fall for the trap”.

“The book has neither been released nor have I read it. It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment before that,” he added.

Reacting to the BJP, Mr. Tewari said,”I am rather amused at @BJP4India reaction to one excerpt from a 304 Page book that tries to dissect responses to National Security Situations that Impacted India. I wonder would they react similarly to some “hard analysis’ about their handling of the National Security Remit also?”.

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