Government didn’t leak surgical strike footage: Manohar Parrikar

Panaji: Former Defence Minister and Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday said the media should not probe how sensitive footage of the 2016 surgical strikes was accessed and broadcast on national television, and insisted the Defence Ministry did not leak the footage with an eye on the upcoming general elections.

“I don’t think government has released it. Somehow, some people may have managed to get a small bite of it. So that’s all. Let it be shown. Why are you going into the issues of how it has come, why it has come? Some people asked me about elections… Elections are quite far…,” Parrikar told reporters at the state Secretariat.

“Like you (journalists) get the scoop, the media must have managed to get the scoop from somewhere. It is there,” the former Defence Minister said. He, however, refused to certify the leaked footage of the 2016 surgical strikes, which was broadcast on national news channels on Wednesday.

“I have not certified the video, I am only certifying that the surgical strikes took place,” Parrikar said.

The Chief Minister said there was no indication that the Defence Ministry had released the footage to the media.

“I am not aware if it is released by the Defence Ministry. As far as I am concerned, I do not see any indication that it is released by the Ministry. Some channels started showing it yesterday (Wednesday),” Parrikar said.

He also said that Pakistan never really questioned the strikes because of the neighbouring country’s strategic limitations.

“Pakistan actually never questioned. Pakistan did not comment on our claim on surgical strikes. Either they have to accept it… If they accept it, they have to retaliate against it. So they have their own limitations. Our opposition (parties), some, not all, doubted. This (the footage) is adequate proof for that,” Parrikar said.