PANAJI: Goa Chief Minister and former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday said the existing political leadership which took the "strong decision" to go ahead with the 2016 surgical strikes across the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, cannot be denied credit.
Parrikar, who held the Defence portfolio when the surgical strikes took place on September 29, 2016, said footage which has been broadcast by national news channels was only a fraction of the actual evidence of the strikes.
"Ultimately, the exercise has been carried out by armed forces and the credit goes to the armed forces. But you cannot deny credit to the political leadership which took the strong decision," Parrikar told a channel at the State Secretariat on Thursday.
"It was an extensive operation which was carried out after extensive planning and preparation. It could only happen, I think, because the leadership of the Prime Minister was very crucial... The Prime Minister supported the decision right from day one.
"For me, while taking a decision, of course the Prime Minister's support was there, was also if this escalates... If this goes out beyond the intended limited operation and if there is retaliation, then what? We had to prepare ourselves for any eventuality. Our planning does not only talk about the small operation, but detailing about complete fall-out in case something goes wrong. That was the important part for me," he added.
When asked if the Congress should apologise for being critical of the operation and questioning its very veracity, Parrikar said: "I think they should realise their mistake. I don't know whether apology is the right word for it. But they should henceforth, in matters which concern national interest and the armed forces, should be very careful while commenting."
The Chief Minister also said that scoring political brownie points over the surgical strikes was "demeaning" to the armed forces.