Khanduri differs with Advani's view of terrorist release decision

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New Delhi, Mar 28 (UNI) Uttarakhand Chief Minister Maj Gen (retd) B C Khanduri, who was the Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister in the Vajpayee cabinet when the Indian Airlines flight to Kathmandu was hijacked to Kandahar in December 1999, today said he disagreed with the suggestion that the decision to free the jailed terrorists was wrong.

''Decision in a Cabinet were taken after considering so many pros and cons under such complex circumstances that it was difficult to categorise them as right or wrong,'' he said at a Meet the Press Programme at the Press Club of India here.

He was reacting to a reference to the then Home Minister L K Advani's expression of displeasure over the release of terrorist in his book 'My Country, My Life' released here last week.

Mr Advani in his book, said he was unhappy about the decision to release three jailed terrorists in exchange for the lives of hijacked passengers on board the Indian Airlines aircraft at Kandahar, and that he was unaware that the Foreign Minister was taking the terrorists along with him to Kandahar.

When asked about his reaction to the decision taken by the Vajpayee Government at that time, the Uttarakhand Chief Minister and the former Union Minister said a decision of the Cabinet depended on so many factors and that unless he had any authentic knowledge about it, it would be unfair on his part to give his opinion.

Moreover, he would not like to comment on what transpired in the Cabinet, he added.

He also sought to parry a qustion about the happenings in Tibet, saying the situation was very complex and the issue should be solved through talks.

UNI NAZ VD AS1635

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