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‘Blatant politicisation of sacrifices made by armed forces’: 21 oppn parties

Leaders of 21 opposition political parties on Wednesday condemned the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir and targeted ruling Bharatiya Janata Party over “blatant politicisation” of the sacrifices made by the jawans. The opposition parties expressed solidarity with the armed forces in the fight against terrorism.

Reading out a joint statement after the meeting of opposition party leaders, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, “The meeting of 21 parties expressed their deep anguish over the blatant politicization of the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces by leaders of the ruling party.”

This comes in the wake of BJP leaders including party president Amit Shah saying at public rallies post-Pulwama attack that “only Modi government can avenge” the attack on security forces. At least 40 CRPF jawans were killed in Pulwama terror attack on February 14.

“National security must transcend narrow political considerations. The leaders observed that the Prime Minister has, regrettably, not convened an-all party meeting as per the established practice in our democracy,” reads the joint statement.

The opposition parties expressed deep concern for the safety of the missing pilot, confirmed earlier in the day by external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. “One pilot is missing in action,” said Kumar this morning while briefing the media about “aerial engagement” with Pakistan Air Force.

Pakistan violated Indian airspace on Wednesday with its fighter jets crossed the Line of Control (LoC). The IAF took prompt action and one F-16 fighter jet of Pakistan was shot down, he said. The Indian Air Force lost one MiG-21 Bison and one pilot was missing, the MEA spokesperson said.

Pakistan claimed that two MiG aircrafts were shot down by its air force with Prime Minister Imran Khan claiming that the “pilots are with us”. MEA spokesperson Kumar said the government was ascertaining the facts regarding the claim made by Pakistan.

The opposition leaders “urged the government to take the nation into confidence on all measures to protect India’s sovereignty, unity and integrity.”

“I’m sorry to hear that one of our brave IAF pilots is missing. I hope he will return home soon, unharmed. We stand by our armed forces in these difficult times,” Gandhi wrote on Twitter.

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