NEW DELHI: BJP today credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi's effective leadership and sustained diplomatic efforts by the NDA government for the release of Indian priest Father Alexis Prem Kumar eight months after he was kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Party national secretary Shrikant Sharma termed the safe release of the Jesuit priest a "diplomatic breakthrough" scripted by the Modi government and a matter of pride for India.
"The Prime Minister Modi-led NDA government has achieved another breakthrough on the diplomatic front," he said.
"Modi's effective leadership and sustained diplomatic efforts by the NDA government have made possible the release of the Indian priest," he added.
The announcement of the release of the 47-year-old private aid worker was made by the prime minister yesterday through tweets.
"BJP congratulates Prime Minister Modi for the new success on the diplomatic front. The NDA government's diplomatic success, definitely, is a matter of honour and pride for over a billion-and-a-quarter Indians," Sharma further said.
Prem Kumar, who hails from Tamil Nadu, was working for a educational charity, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), in Afghanistan for three years. He was kidnapped by the Taliban on June 2, 2014.
The government had initiated efforts at the highest level for securing his release and Sharma said that the prime minister had himself taken particular interest in the matter.
The safe return last year of nurses from Kerala and other civilians from Iraq and Libya marks the success of the NDA government in the diplomatic sphere, he said.