Cong steers clear of Army chief`s remarks on armed forces

Congress steered clear of Army chief General VK Singh`s remarks that the Indian armed forces were `competent` to carry out an operation similar to the one conducted by the US in Pakistan against al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

Last Updated: May 05, 2011, 23:01 PM IST

New Delhi: Congress on Thursday steered clear of
Army chief General VK Singh`s remarks that the Indian armed
forces were "competent" to carry out an operation similar to
the one conducted by the US in Pakistan against al-Qaeda chief
Osama bin Laden.

"I don`t speak for armed forces. I am spokesperson of
Congress," was the response of party spokesperson Jayanthi
Natarajan, when asked to comment on Singh`s remarks in
Lucknow yesterday in which he had said, "I would like to say
only this that if such a chance comes, then all the three arms
(of the military) are competent to do this."

The General had been asked whether the Indian armed
forces could successfully carry out an operation like the US
forces undertook against Bin Laden in Abbottabad near
Islamabad.

The Congress spokesperson, however, quickly added all
terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan should be dismantled so
that talks between the two countries can yield positive
results.

"That is also the government`s stand. And we are fully
with the government in all its foreign policy initiatives,"
she added.

She said that Congress was of the view that during
talks with Pakistan, the issue of terror should occupy the
centre stage and is sure that the government will carry out a
process, which is in the best interests of the country.

Natarajan had yesterday given indications that the
party does not find demands of hot pursuit against Pakistan
very viable saying, "We are pursuing our objective in a
different way."

PTI