Tuesday Mar 05, 2019
As the Narendra Modi-led Indian government continues to face questions over the Balakot “airstrike” inside Pakistan, the family of one of the soldiers killed in Pulwama attack has also demanded proof of the country’s claims of 300 “casualties”.
Calling his government a “liar until they present proof”, Ram Naresh, the brother of Ram Vakil who was one of more than 40 Indian soldiers killed in the February 14 Pulwama attack, questioned the Modi government’s claims of casualties in the Balakot strike.
“There is no proof yet. Whatever [the government] has told us seems to be a lie since there’s no proof. When they present proof then it will be the truth,” the brother told reporters.
“[We] received our brother’s coffin, where are their coffins?” he asked, referring to the so-called “casualties” of the Balakot misadventure.
Senior Indian politicians and journalists have been raising questions over the claims of Indian media and government officials that 300 alleged terrorists were killed in the so-called airstrikes in Balakot.
On Monday, senior Indian Congress leader P Chidambaram slammed Modi for politicising the Pulwama attack.
Speaking at the book launch of his book ‘Undaunted: Saving the Idea of India’, Chidambaram said, "[Indian] prime minister is politicising Pulwama and its consequences. He is trying to take political advantage.”
“The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government has shifted its focus from terrorism to Pakistan," he said, adding that the government would have to make efforts for the world to believe its claims that a Pakistani F-16 was shot down and 300 alleged terrorists were killed in the airstrike.
Several other leaders, including Navjot Singh Sidhu, Kapil Sibal and Ajay Singh, and the international media have also raised doubts over the air strikes. While Sidhu asked "if the strike was to uproot terrorists or trees”, Kapil Sibal quoted international media reports and said "hardly anyone died in Balakot". Congress leader Ajay Singh also quoted a New York Times report to say that "there was no damage due to air strikes".