Capt Kalia’s death: Jaitley slams Rehman Malik for blaming weather



Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Slamming visiting Rehman Malik, who stirred off a controversy by saying he wasn't sure whether Indian Army's Captain Saurabh Kalia "was killed by a Pakistani bullet, or the weather", Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, on Saturday said the Pakistani Interior Minister was not expected to speculate on Captain Kalia.

“He was not expected to speculate on Captain Kalia. If he didn’t know, why did he have to blame the weather,” ANI quoted a miffed Jaitley as saying.

The BJP leader added that the Indian minister at the spot should have rebutted Malik's statement.

Jaitley described on Malik's comment equating the Babri mosque demolition with the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack as unfortunate and uncalled for.

"It's strange and unfortunate that the Pakistani minister has just at the commencement of the visit seen to be commenting on cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan and in the same breath speaking in terms of domestic developments in India. Well, those comments are completely unfortunate, uncalled for and should have really been rebutted by the Indian ministers present there," Jaitley told mediapersons here.

"It's regrettable that they went unchallenged. Particularly, when the comments have come from the representative of a nation, which has a dismal track record in relation to its own religious and ethnic minorities and their rights," he added.

On Friday, Rehman Malik said: "When the fight is going on the border, we really don't know whether he was killed with a Pakistani bullet or he died because of the weather”.

"I have not examined this case, it has just come to my notice very recently, but I will be very happy to see the father of the soldier, and shake hands and like to know what exactly happened.”

Captain Kalia was captured by the Pakistan Army in 1999 during the Kargil conflict, and his badly tortured and mutilated body was later handed over by Pakistan.

Captain Kalia's father NK Kalia recently moved the Supreme Court seeking its direction to the government to raise his son's case at the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

Kalia has been pressing the Defence Ministry, the Army headquarters, External Affairs Ministry and the Prime Minister's Office for over a decade to exert pressure on Pakistan to punish those Pakistani soldiers who indulged in barbaric torture of his son and five other soldiers in violation of the Geneva Convention.

(With PTI inputs)