Press Trust of India

Par panel asks govt to extend its outreach

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New Delhi: A parliamentary panel on Friday asked the government to go all out to explain to the international community reasons behind India’s decision to carry out air strike on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp inside Pakistan.
The suggestion came when Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale briefed the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs about the latest developments that have taken place between India and Pakistan after the February 14 Pulwama terror attack by JeM in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed .
Gokhale, who was assisted by officials of the Ministry of External Affairs, informed the members about the air strikes on JeM terror camps in Pakistan as also about the retaliation by the western neighbour, source said.
He told the panel that the attempt by Pakistan Air Force to target military installations in India was unsuccessful as it was thwarted by the IAF which lost a jet in the fight back.
The members told the foreign secretary that the government should vigorously publicise across the world the reasons behind New Delhi’s move to target the terror camps, a member later said.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi is a member of the committee but was not present in the meeting Friday.
Gokhale answered queries about the assessment of damage caused by the air strike. But he explained that the Defence Ministry was better equipped to answer this.
The foreign secretary also informed the members on how India got the support of the members of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on the issue where External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is a guest of honour.
Pakistan has boycotted the plenary session of OIC meet to protest India’s participation there.
The panel members also lauded the armed forces, including the IAF and described the air strike as a “glorious and heroic” job which needs to be widely publicised.
Earlier, Gokhale shared in detail the sequence of events of the last few days till the capture of the Indian pilot.
The purpose of the meeting, described as good and constructive, was part of “parliamentary accountability” and the ministry gave a brieing in this regard, a member said.
The committee is headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. The briefing was on Indo-Pak relations in the light of the strain in relationship after the Pulwama attack and an air strike by India.
Tensions between the two countries escalated after Indian fighters bombed terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s biggest training camp near Balakot deep inside Pakistan early Tuesday. It came 12 days after the JeM claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Kashmir. (PTI)

Press Trust of India

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