Antony should have apologised, says Advani

New Delhi, Aug 14 (IANS) BJP leader L.K. Advani Tuesday suggested that Defence Minister A.K. Antony should have apologised for making an "inaccurate" statement on the Aug 6 killing of five Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops.

In his blog, Advani complimented Army Chief General Bikram Singh for confirming to Antony what the army press note had said about the Aug 6 incident earlier - the involvement of border action team - and specifically to add that "specialist troops" of the Pakistan army were involved in this attack.

"Ordinarily, I may have bracketed the defence minister also with the army chief in my above compliments. But I could have done that only if he had shown courage to formally withdraw his statement of Aug 6, and in his revised statement apologised to the army for the ridiculous alterations he had made in the army's version, which was absolutely accurate.

"No minister can say anything in the house which is false. If he does say something untrue because he had been misinformed, the least he must do is to express regrets," the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said.

He also expressed hope that after the "firm assertion" by Antony and the army chief, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh "would abandon his keenness to have peace talks with his Pakistani counterpart".

He cited as example US President Barack Obama calling off his scheduled meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow over Russia granting asylum to US intelligence leaker former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden.

Advani said he had always had great warmth and respect for A.K. Antony and was therefore "really surprised by his statement that day".

--Indo-Asian News service

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