National

Unmask Pak. smear campaign: Kejriwal

“I may have differences with the Prime Minister over a 100 issues. But when he has shown the will (to deal with this matter), I salute him,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Monday. File photo  

Known for his tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a rare gesture, on Monday ‘saluted’ his bete noire for the surgical strikes by the Indian Army across the Line of Control (LoC) and urged the Centre to counter Pakistan’s smear campaign on international stage.

Mr. Kejriwal, in a video message, said he might have differences with the Prime Minister over several issues, but by undertaking the surgical strikes, Mr. Modi had shown the will to deal with Pakistan.

“Last week our Army showed valour and avenged the deaths of 19 soldiers killed in the Uri attack. I may have differences with the Prime Minister over a 100 issues. But when he has shown the will (to deal with this matter), I salute him,” he said.

Ever since Mr. Kejriwal took charge as the CM of Delhi in February 2015, he has been at loggerheads with the PM. From calling him ‘coward and psychopath’, the Delhi CM has also accused Mr. Modi that the latter could get him ‘assassinated in political vendetta’.

But Monday’s message is perhaps the first time that Mr. Kejriwal has publicly praised him. On Thursday, the day Indian Army carried out the surgical strikes, Mr. Kejriwal had congratulated the Army but refrained from mentioning Mr. Modi in his praise. The BJP leadership at the Centre refused to comment on Mr. Kejriwal’s message.

Claiming that Pakistan had gone “berserk” after the strike, Mr. Kejriwal said, it was resorting to smear campaign against India at international forum and this had to be countered.

‘Dirty politics’

“It has resorted to playing dirty politics. Since the last two days, Pakistan is taking international journalists to the border and trying to show that surgical strikes never took place. Two days back, the United Nations gave a statement that there was no such activity on the border,” he said. “My blood boiled over these news reports (of the international media). Pakistan is indulging in smearing India’s image at the international level.”

“I appeal to the Prime Minister that the way he and the Army taught Pakistan a lesson on ground, he should also unmask the propaganda by Pakistan at international level. The whole country is with you. I also appeal to the countrymen not to believe in the false campaign by Pakistan,” he said.

On Friday, the Pakistani Army flew international and local media to the LoC to ‘prove’ India did not conduct any surgical strikes.