Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said that valour of the defence forces should not be made an election issue. While speaking at IndiaTV's mega conclave on terrorism - 'Vande Mataram', Jaitley urged all political parties not to bring the country's armed forces into political controversies. "India has always kept armed forces at arms distance from political issues. Unlike Pakistan, we don't drag armed forces in election campaigns or political debates. We should always keep that in mind," Jaitley said.
The senior BJP leader stressed that the government's role can be debated or discussed but forces should be kept out of it.
"You can definitely discuss the government's determination to fight terrorism. Government's role should not be limited to paying homage. To formulate a response to terror and take steps so that we just don't act but be proactive and fight it at the point of origin," Jaitley added.
Without naming Pakistan, Jaitley gave a stern warning to the countries supporting terrorism and said: "World has to be united against terrorism. But India today has made it clear that if countries or people supporting terrorism, won't find it affordable."
The 66-year-old also said that the government's action in Balakot was not a reaction to the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
"We acted (Balakot strike) in our defence. This government has political determination unlike the previous government," Jaitley said on IAF airstrikes.
On the questions raised by Congress President Rahul Gandhi on the Balakot airstrike, Jaitley said: "Rahul Gandhi has made secret operations of the Indian Army a matter of public debate. Rahul Gandhi speaks without knowledge."
When asked about Congress party and Rahul Gandhi's criticism on India's diplomacy at the United Nations where China, for the fourth time, blocked the move to designate Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar as a 'global terrorist', Jaitley said people should read history.
"In 1955, US had proposed that China be unseated from the UN Security Council. Pandit Nehru then rejected that proposal citing Indo-China friendship. Pandit Nehru in a written note on August 1, 1955 said: 'Informally, suggestions have been made by the United States that China should be taken into the United Nations but not in the Security Council and that India should take her (China's) place in the Security Council. We cannot, of course, accept this as it means falling out with China and it would be very unfair for a great country like China not to be in the Security Council. We have, therefore, made it clear to those who suggested this that we cannot agree with this suggestion. We have even gone a little further and said that India is not anxious to enter the Security Council at this stage, even though as a great country she ought to be there. The first step to be taken is for China to take her rightful place and then the question of India might be considered separately', Jaitley said referring to Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru's note.
"Now, history can be interpreted. You may question that decision but you can't deny history. People commenting on India's diplomacy after China put a technical hold at UN on Masood Azhar must read history," Jaitley said.
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