Monday, 25 Mar, 1.24 am Deccan Chronicle

Telangana
Nirmala Sitharaman hits out at Pak PM Imran Khan backers

Hyderabad: Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman condemned those in India who, she said, are voicing an interest in Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan getting the Nobel Peace Prize for sending IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman back to India. Such people are against India and the armed forces, she said. She was speaking at a meeting of ex-servicemen organised in Secunderabad on Sunday morning.

She accused the Congress of speaking against the armed forces. She said her government had taken lots of steps to fulfil its commitment to the armed forces and ex-servicemen. The interests of ex-servicemen are being looked into and there have been issues with the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme, in which malpractices were detected.

'During the pre-emptive Indian Air Force strikes, the pilots were bombing the territory and not sent to attack and take selfies,' Ms Sitharaman said, a reference to calls for photographic proof that the terrorist training camp had indeed been destroyed along with hundreds of militants.

'There is a limit to demanding proof from us for their work. In the 1971 war, India released 90,000 prisoners of war but when Pakistan has sent a pilot back there is talk of Nobel Peace Prize within India which is unbecoming,' she said.

The interests of ex-servicemen are being looked into and there have been issues with the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme, in which malpractices were detected during the audit.

She said, 'The review found some lapses and for that reason there will be three super-specialty institutes like the All India Institute of Medical Sciences ECHS built especially for the forces. The appeal for the disability related court cases will not be taken up as dragging ex-servicemen to court is not in the interest of the forces.'

The War Memorial is an example of the government's commitment to the armed forces, she said, and the government believes in giving freedom to the armed forces with due dignity.

The Balakot attack was India's reply that we too can opt for pre-emptive strikes, she said. 'If Pakistan is keen to finish terror they must first go and attack those camps so that such destruction does not take place,' she added.

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Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Dailyhunt. Publisher: Deccan Chronicle
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