Kamal Nath defends Antony’s statement on killing of Indian soldiers

Kamal Nath Photo: PTI
Kamal Nath Photo: PTI

New Delhi, 7 Aug (PTI): With Defence Minister A K Antony’s statement on killing of Indian soldiers in Poonch sparking a controversy, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath today came out in his support, saying the remarks were made on the basis of facts available at that time.

“There is no question of the Defence Minister misleading. He made a statement of facts, facts which were available at the time when he made the statement. If any facts emerge after that, obviously those facts are after the statement,” he told reporters here.

He was asked by reporters to comment on the breach of privilege motion that BJP leader Yashwant Sinha had talked of moving against Antony.

“The breach of privilege motion will be considered by the Speaker and it is for the Speaker to take a view on this,” Nath said and added that personally he did not see any breach of privilege.

He also hoped that Parliament would function smoothly today.

Antony’s statement on the killing of five Indian soldiers in Poonch had sparked of a controversy because he had described the intruders as “terrorists along with persons dressed in Pakistan Army uniform” while an Army spokesman had said that “soldiers from Pak Army” were involved.

Making a suo motu statement in both the Houses of Parliament, Antony said an Indian army patrol, comprising one Non-Commissioned Officer and five other ranks, was “ambushed on our side” of the LoC in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The ambush was carried out by approximately 20 heavily-armed terrorists along with persons dressed in Pakistan army uniform,” he said.

Defence spokesman, Jammu, S N Acharya said the Indian Army patrol was ambushed by a Pakistan Border Action Team(BAT).

“A patrol of Indian Army comprising of one Non- Commissioned Officer and five other ranks was ambushed by a Pak Border Action Team (BAT) close to the Line of Control in Poonch Sector of J&K early morning,” he had said in an official statement.

“In the ensuing firefight, five Indian soldiers were martyred. The ambush was carried out by approximately 20 heavily armed terrorists along with soldiers of Pak Army,” he had said.

Antony’s remarks about involvement of terrorists in the attack triggered angry reactions in Parliament by opposition parties, which said it amounted to giving an “escape route” to Pakistan which already claims that its army is not involved.

However, Antony stuck to his version, saying “my statement is based on confirmed reports received till the time I made the statement. At this stage we don’t want to jump to any conclusion.”



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