New Delhi: At a time when critics say Congress is desperate for support, support had come but not quite from where the party would have been hoping. Party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad recently said that more civilians were dying in anti-terror operations than terrorists - a view that was echoed by terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba in an emailed statement.
Through the statement, LeT spokesperson Abdullah Ghaznavi quotes the terrorist organisation chief Mahmood Shah as saying that Azad's view was correct. "We have been of the same opinion as of the expressions of Ghulam Nabi Azad and others since the beginning. India is up to bringing back the era of Jagmohan by imposing the Governor law so as to sabotage the infrastructure and commit massacre of innocents. It is a move to further intensify the mass killings."
The LeT statement then goes on to term the recent Ramzad ceasefire as 'drama' and accuses PDP chief and former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti of trying her best to establishing RSS' agenda. "Mehbooba Mufti has strived to her excellence in establishing the agenda of RSS in the Valley and Jammu. 8 lakh Indian forces are committing atrocities in Jammu Kashmir. The people are being suppressed down into slavery by excessive force. But the immense sacrifices by the people of Jammu Kashmir have rendered the likes of Operation All-Out as complete failures. The cease-fire was merely drama. It was intended for covert targets, not for the peacekeeping developments."
BJP recently parted ways with Mehbooba's PDP and Governor's rule is in place in J&K. And while Congress has ruled out any alliance with PDP, LeT's statement backing a view put out by one of its leaders is bound to ruffle several feathers. Azad, while speaking to a national news channel, had said that focus is not on talks but on massacre. "They take action against four terrorists and kill 20 civilians along. Their action is more against civilians than terrorists. For instance, they killed 13 civilians in Pulwama and just one terrorist. Saying that it will be an all-out operation, clearly shows that they plan to do a massacre. They did not say that they want to resolve the issue through talks. Even America and North Korea solved their difference through dialogue," he had told News 18.
The remark and the subsequent backing of LeT has led BJP to open a new counter-offensive against Congress. "In J&K, 72 terrorists were killed in 2012, 67 in 2013. In June of 2014, we came to power. 110 were killed in 2014, 108 in 2015, 150 in 2016, 217 in 2017 and 75 have been killed till May of this year," said party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday. "So GN Azad, you can see the difference between your and our government. LeT is supporting what Cong says."