PARLIAMENTARY STANDING COMMITTEE ON INDIA ATTACK
01, Mar 2019
Prelims level : Mains level : GS 2: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
- Members of the Standing Committee on External Affairs requested Centre to circulate evidence of the damage suffered by the Jaish-e Mohammad (JeM) camp in Balakot to the international community to end speculation in the international press about the number of casualties in the Indian Air Force attack.
- Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and other senior officials of the External Affairs Ministry briefed the panel. Mr. Gokhale was meant to speak on the new government taking charge in Pakistan, but the briefing was largely centred on the Pulwama attack and its fallout.
- The Foreign Secretary refused to give operational details about the air strikes pleading that it did not fall under his domain.
- He also refused to answer questions on the number of possible casualties at the JeM camp, committee sources said.
- The panel members hailed the strikes by the Indian Air Force but lamented that internationally India had not been given due credit.
- The international community is claiming that our strikes had no impact, the camps were already empty and no men were killed. They are trying to hide the glory of our armed forces. So, we told the Foreign Secretary that this misinformation campaign needs to be combated by widely circulating the relevant evidence.
- The panel asked Mr. Gokhale to highlight the justification for the air strikes and the JeM’s role in spreading terror in India.
- Mr. Foreign Secretary assured the Committee that diplomatic overtures to the international community were still under way.