Advani seeks apology from Antony over `false` LoC statement

Defence Minister AK Antony`s statement following the killing of five soldiers in Poonch sector exonerates the Pakistani Army, BJP leader LK Advani said.

Last Updated: Aug 07, 2013, 15:57 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Defence Minister AK Antony`s statement following the killing of five soldiers along Line of Control in Poonch sector exonerates the Pakistani Army, veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lal Krishna Advani said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Antony said in a statement in the two houses of Parliament: "The ambush was carried out by approximately 20 heavily-armed terrorists along with persons dressed in Pakistan Army uniform."

His remark has drawn protests by BJP members.

Advani noted that there was discrepancy in statements issued by Antony in Parliament and the ones made by the Defence Ministry, which blamed Pakistan Army for the attack.

"(The) Defence Ministry directly blamed Pakistan Army and defence minister says they were dressed in Pakistan Army uniform," Advani told reporters.

The BJP leader also demanded an apology from Anotny for making a "false statement".

When asked whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should hold dialogue with his Pakistan counterpart, Advani said that this was no time for talks.

Earlier in the day, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha said outside Parliament: "It seems as if he (Antony) is on Pakistan Army`s side. It was a most laughable statement, as the Army has clearly stated that Pakistani soldiers were involved and Army is on the ground they know better than what prime minister and defence minister know."

The Congress has defended the statement by Antony, with Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari telling reporters that it is unfortunate that a difference is being created between defence minister and the Defence Ministry.