NEW DELHI: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Sunday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tell the families of the 40 CRPF jawans killed in Pulwama as to who released Masood Azhar, whose Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the terror attack.
Taking to Twitter, he alleged that it was the present National Security Adviser who went to Kandahar to hand over the "murderer" Azhar.
"PM Modi please tell the families of our 40 CRPF Shaheeds, who released their murderer, Masood Azhar? Also tell them that your current NSA was the deal maker, who went to Kandahar to hand the murderer back to Pakistan," Gandhi tweeted.
PM Modi please tell the families of our 40 CRPF Shaheeds, who released their murderer, Masood Azhar?— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 10, 2019
Also tell them that your current NSA was the deal maker, who went to Kandahar to hand the murderer back to Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/hGPmCFJrJC
The BJP gave a scathing comeback to Rahul Gandhi. The party tweeted: “You were probably busy playing video games when the whole nation was praying for safe return of hijacked passengers. Do you know that all decisions regarding the hijacking were taken at all-party meeting? Remember Latif, the handler of Pathankot, was released by the UPA as goodwill gesture."
In 2010 under UPA rule, Shahid Latif, who allegedly provided logistical support to four Pakistanis who attacked Pathankot base, was released from an Indian prison. In Pathankot terror attack, seven military personnel were killed in a siege that lasted for around 72 hours.
Masood Azhar, along with some other terrorists, was released by the Indian government in December 1999 in lieu of the release of over 150 hostages of the IC-814 Indian Airlines flight that was hijacked to Kandahar. He was a close associate of Osama bin Laden.
The four terrorists were shot dead and buried in Punjab as Pakistan refused to accept their bodies.
Latif, a senior leader of JeM, was arrested from Jammu in a case related to terrorism and narcotics in 1996. Congress-led government released Latif to improve relations with Pakistan, along with nearly 20 others through Wagah border in Punjab.
The terror attack in Pulwama on February 14 was the deadliest assault in the recent past in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed. India retaliated by targeting JeM’s largest training centre at Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.