Rahul asks Modi to tell nation who released Azhar from jail
He also asserts that the Congress would not bow down to terror
Haveri (Karnataka): Stepping up attack on the Narendra Modi government over the Pulwama terror strike, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi Saturday asked the prime minister to explain to the nation why the then NDA dispensation had released terror outfit JeM chief Masood Azhar from Indian jail.
Raking up the release of Azhar by the Vajpayee dispensation in 1999 in exchange for passengers of a hijacked Indian Airlines plane, he said Modi should tell the country "how Masood Azhar was sent back (to Pakistan), who sent and which government sent him (back)".
He also asserted that the Congress would not bow down to terror. Gandhi's attack on the Modi government on national security comes amid an escalating war of words between the BJP and the Congress over India's air strikes on terror camps in Pakistan after a suicide bomber attack on a CRPF convoy killed 40 jawans in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, with each accusing the other of politicising the issue.
In a fierce attack on the opposition, Modi had called them "poster boys of Pakistan" for seeking proof of the IAF's action on a terror camp in Balakot in Pakistan and asked them to stop appeasing Pakistan.
"Some days ago CRPF people were killed in Pulwama. I have a small question to the prime minister. Who killed these CRPF jawans? What is the name of the chief of Jaish-e-Mohammed?...Masood Azhar," Gandhi said at a rally here in north Karnataka, where he sounded the party's bugle for the Lok Sabha polls.
The Congress chief said, "Modiji makes me understand who sent Masood Azhar from India's jail to Pakistan. Didn't the BJP government send this person from India's jail to Pakistan?
"Didn't you send (then Union minister) Jaswant Singh and your National Security Advisor (Ajit Doval) on the same flight? Did you forget that your (party's) government sent this person from India's jail to Kandahar(in Afghanistan)?"
"Why are you not speaking about it in your speeches? Why are you not saying that the person who carried out the bomb blast on CRPF, who killed CRPF jawans was sent back to Pakistan by the BJP government?" Gandhi asked.
He told the crowd, "Go to the internet, you can see the photo of Ajit Doval who is the National Security Advisor of Narendra Modi along with Masood Azhar at Kandahar airport." "Modi ji we are not like you, we won't bow in front of terrorism," he said.
Azhar was released by the Vajpayee government in exchange for passengers of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane IC-814 in 1999.
The Kathmandu-New Delhi plane was hijacked and taken to Kandahar by Masood Azhar's men.