Action against Pakistan was not Hot Pursuit: Rajnath Singh

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said that India’s surgical strikes and airstrike across the Line of Control (LoC) were not in line with former Home Minister Lal Krishna Advani’s strategy on ‘hot pursuit’ against terrorists.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, Singh said, “It is not about hot pursuit or cold pursuit. We only targeted the terror training camps while carrying out the strikes in Pakistan. We did not attack innocent civilians during the strikes. Besides, the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan were also preserved.”

‘Hot pursuit’ against terrorists is legitimate as it is in accordance with international law, Advani had said as Home Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government in 2001.

Advani had said that a pro-active policy was necessary to pursue terrorists, locate and eliminate them. However, India did not embark on a policy of hot pursuit then despite the Home Minister espousing it in verbal terms.

When asked if the BJP is ignoring LK Advani by not taking him in confidence over the airstrike, Rajnath Singh said,” Advani ji is a well-informed man. He knows everything about the prevailing situation in our country. He will forever remain our source of inspiration.”

On February 26, 2019, Indian Air Force fighter jets bombed Jaish-e-Mohammed’s advance training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot. Islamabad retaliated by attempting to target Indian military installations the next day. However, the Indian Air Force thwarted its plans.

In 2016 also, the Indian armed forces carried out a similar attack and destroyed a couple of terror training camps.