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India Should Have Acted After 26/11: Congress’s Manish Tewari In Book

New Delhi:

India should have “actioned a kinetic response” against Pakistan in the days following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks – given it is a state “that has no compunctions in brutally slaughtering hundreds of innocent people” – reads an excerpt from Congress MP Manish Tewari’s new book.
’10 Flash Points; 20 Years – National Security Situations that Impacted India’ – “objectively delves into every salient National Security Challenge India has faced in the past two decades”, Mr Tewari said this morning in a Twitter post promoting the book.

“There comes a time when actions must speak louder than words. 26/11 was one such time when it just should have been done. It, therefore, is my considered opinion that India should have actioned a kinetic response in the days following India’s 9/11,” an excerpt from the book that has been published by Rupa Books, and which was shared by Mr Tewari, reads.

In the excerpt Mr Tewari also notes the rise of the Taliban, and writes: “In the past two decades the challenges to India’s national security had exacerbated both in complexity and intensity.”

The excerpts have drawn mocking retorts from the opposition BJP, with Amit Malviya quick to tweet: “After Salman Khurshid, another Congress leader throws UPA under the bus to sell his book”.

“Manish Tewari in his new book slams the UPA for weakness in the name of restrain post 26/11. Air Chief Marshal Fali Major is already on record saying IAF was ready to strike but UPA froze,” Mr Malviya tweeted with a screenshot of a note with excerpts from the book’s publishers.

Ahead of multiple elections next year, including the politically key state of Uttar Pradesh and in Punjab (which shares an extensive border with Pakistan), Mr Malviya also slammed the Congress’ “muddle thinking on national security”, declaring “… (it) made India a weak state”.

“Just yesterday, Mani Shankar Aiyar questioned defence spending… today Manish Tewari rues UPA’s weak response to 26/11. PC (P Chidambaram) as HM (Union Home Minister) wanted to launch offensive against Naxals… Digvijay Singh (former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister) opposed,” Mr Malviya wrote in a second tweet.

With elections due next year (and one eye on the 2024 Lok Sabha election), the BJP has ratcheted up pressure on the Congress, fuelled initially by the controversial excerpt in Salman Khurshid’s book.

Mr Khurshid, in his book on Ayodhya, had compared “Hindutva” with radical Islamist terror groups like ISIS and Boko Haram. The comparison drew howl of protest from the BJP, with Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra threatening to get it banned in his state.

Mr Khurshid, whose book was also questioned by colleague Ghulam Nabi Azad, told news agency PTI: “I have not called these guys terrorists. I have just said they are similar in distorting religion.”

The 26/11 attacks saw over 160 people murdered as terrorists went on a rampage across Mumbai.

The horrific attacks also saw nine terrorists killed and the lone survivor – Ajmal Kasab – was arrested and sentenced to death. He was executed November 11, 2002.

The gruesome Mumbai terror attack took place as the Congress-led UPA was in power at the centre. Between 2012 and 2014 Mr Tewari was the I&B Minister in the second UPA government.

This week India will observe the 13th anniversary of those attacks, a fact the BJP will likely underline as it continues to highlight Mr Tewari’s books.

The BJP will also, no doubt, also point to the Balakot airstrike – in response to the Pulwama terror attack – as another sign of its ability to protect India’s border, compared to the Congress.

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