Azam Khan's Kargil statement: Army officers' reactions

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Azam Khan
Bangalore, April 9: The Sawajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan on Tuesday courted a controversy when he claimed that it was "Muslim soldiers" who fought for India's victory in the 1999 Kargil war against Pakistan.

The 'controversy-prone' Khan dragged the Kargil conflict into the ongoing high voltage Lok Sabha campaign at an election rally in Ghaziabad.

OneIndia's Sub Editor Richa Bajpai talked to Bangalore-based Retired Air Marshal B K Pandey, who told that Kargil was captured by the Muslims from the other side of the border, but they could not remain for long, because of the bravery of the Indian soldiers (including Hindu and Muslim soldiers).

He sarcastically said that Azam Khan can be right if we look at his statement from this angle.

On being asked whether Azam Khan is trying to garner votes from his community by making such rhetorical statements, Pandey said, "He cannot succeed in his intentions by making such statements. The people of this country know what the truth is."

"Azam Khan is perhaps unaware about the fact that whenever a cadet takes participation in the "Passing Out Parade" ceremony, he takes the oath of all the religious faiths including Bhagwad Gita, Quran, Bible and Guru Granth Sahib. It doesn't matter whether the army personnel is a Hindu, Muslim, Christian or a Sikh", he said.

Another Indian Army official of Major rank condemned Khan's statement and said, "Indian politicians have stooped to such a low level that they don't even think before making such irresponsible comments."

"How dared he spoke such a statement? If he has guts, then he should go at the border and just see how the Indian soldiers remain alert, every day and night irrespective of the weather."

"Whenever any cadet takes admission in National Defence Academy (NDA) or Indian Military Academy (IMA), then they are made to learn about 'multi-religious harmony'", he further explained.

Meanwhile, former Army Chief General V K Singh, who is the BJP candidate from Ghaziabad Lok Sabha constituency, condemned Khan's remarks, saying the Kargil war was "won by Indians".

"Anybody who talks of caste, creed and religion in the army needs to be condemned. He may be anybody. The war was won by Indians and not by any caste, creed, society, religion," he said.

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