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Surgical strikes were carried out in the past too: Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar
Contradicting Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on Tuesday said that the Indian Army had carried out surgical strikes in the past as well but the government of the time chose to remain silent about it.

S Jaishankar was briefing a Parliamentary Committee on External Affairs headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. He was quoted as having said that "the army had carried out professionally done target specific, limited-calibre, counter-terrorist operations across the LoC in the past too but this is for the first time the government has gone public about it."

"We went public after conducting this surgical strike which conveyed a political message. Whether any previous crossings had been done only the Army would know. But it is irrelevant anyway because there was no message," Jaishankar is reported to have told the panel.

Last week, the defence minister had rejected claims by the Congress party that the surgical strikes were undertaken during their tenure too.

He also informed the committee that even though India is continuing its engagement with Pakistan post the surgical strikes, no set schedule has so far been prepared regarding future engagement and its level with Islamabad.

The meeting was also attended by Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Bipin Rawat who provided the panel with details of the strikes targeting terrorist launch pads across the LoC. Defence Secretary G Mohan Kumar and DG BSF K K Sharma were also present at the meeting.

The surgical strikes that were carried out by the Army on terror launch pads placed across the LoC have been riddled with controversies. While some political parties have been taking credit for the strike, some had demanded that the government should provide a proof that the strikes were carried out, in the first place.

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