The Truth behind Kandahar
The lies propagated by Congress
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, when questioned about UPA’s dismal
performance to tackle terror, raised the Kandahar episode in his defence
“I am not a weak Prime Minister. We sent commandos
to fight terrorists in Mumbai, unlike the BJP, which
sent its External Affair Minister to surrender at
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his interaction with members of
the Women’s Press Corps, at Taj Palace in New Delhi (10 April, 2009)
The chain of events started unfolding on December 24, 1999 when Indian
Airline flight IC 814 was hijacked on its way to New Delhi from Kathmandu
IC-814 takes off for New Delhi from Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu
178 passengers and 11 crew on board
Half an hour later, five men announce they have hijacked the plane
Flight redirected to Lahore but permission to land refused
Fuel is running low. Turns back towards Amritsar and lands there
The hijackers start stabbing selected male passengers. Leaves Amritsar with little fuel
Pakistan allows landing after New Delhi makes a request. Plane is refueled
Takes off for Oman. Permission to land in Muscat refused. Heads for Dubai
The horrific episode finally ended with the intervention of Indian
Government securing the release of all the hostages
Lands at a military air base in Dubai
Hijackers release 27 passengers, leaves for Kabul. Destination changed to Kandahar
Lands at Kandahar. Hijackers make first demand: Release Maulana Masood Azhar
Afghanistan says it will not allow any military operation to rescue hostage
Hijackers threaten to kill hostages if their demand is not met.
Indian diplomat makes radio contact with hijackers.
Indian officials arrive in Kandahar. First direct talks with the hijackers begin
Talks continue. Taliban warns that troops will storm plane if hostages are harmed
Hijackers reject appeal for release of children and mothers on plane
In addition to Azhar's release, they now demand 35 other militants, the body of a slain
militant, and a sum of $200 million.
India begins fourth round of negotiation.
Hijackers drop demand for money and return of slain militant's body.
"Intense round" of direct talks nearly breaks down completely. Additional Taliban troops
surround plane. But talks are resumed later.
Another sick hostage is released. He returns to plane after treatment.
External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh says talks are "extremely delicately poised.“
Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh announces decision to fly to Kandahar
India agrees to release three militants for the hostages. Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, Abdul
Aziz Dar and Ahmed Omar Syed Sheikh
Singh flies with the three to Kandahar.
Hostages are freed
Bringing up Kandahar to hide the shame of Mumbai 26/11 is a blatant
attempt by Congress to hide its govt.’s complete failure to deal with terror
Hostile ground: Taliban controlled
Prior Intelligence reports of
terrorist entering via sea ignored
by PM, Defence Minister and NSA.
Surprise hijack in foreign territory
Nearly 200 civilians dead
One civilian casualty
Huge outcry in public against
Public sentiment in favor of
unpleasant decision taken by Govt.
in extra-ordinary circumstances
If the UPA Government was not at fault, why were the Union Home Minister and the
Maharshtra Chief Minister sacked after the incident??
In Kandahar, the Indian Government was faced with a lack of options as it
figured out the strategy to secure the release of the hostages
Military option – Send commandos to Kandahar
The plane was stranded on a hostile territory surrounded by Taliban army
No diplomatic relationship with Taliban
Taliban refused to allow and military operation on its soil
Indian commandos could not have acted without Taliban’s cooperation
Pakistan refused usage of its air-space
Non-military option – Prolong negotiations to wear out hijackers
Several rounds of negotiations had failed
Hijackers had already killed one hostage; threatened many more
Time was running out; Huge outcry among media and relatives
Intense pressure on government to save lives of the hostage at all costs
Condition of hostages worsening with passing time
The Opposition, which accuses BJP for being soft on terrorists during
Kandahar, was itself putting pressure to secure the safety of hostages
The then Opposition, including the Congress, asked the government to save
lives of hostage as priority during the All-party meeting
“The all-party meeting has left the final decision on what needed to be done on the
government. .. However, they cautioned the government that whatever decision it takes
must be taken keeping in mind the interests and safety of the passengers who were on
board the star-crossed aircraft. “
- Rediff.com, 27 December, 1999
Current Home Minister P. Chidambaram himself endorsed the decision
“I do not know how I would have reacted if 150 families came to my doorstep and pleaded that
the lives of their loved ones in that aircraft must be saved. It is easy to criticize but if one is
in that position, it is a very difficult decision.”
"It (No negotiation with terrorists) is a wholesome principle but I agree that it is an oversimplification....I am not sure. I don't know whether it can be applied in all situations"
- P Chidambaram at NDTV Awards Function on 21tst January, 2009
Earlier governments have shown no hesitation to release terrorists when
faced with less demanding situations
RUBAIYA’S ABDUCTION (Aug 1991)
8 militants released
Rubaiya, daughter of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, was kidnapped by militants
SETTLEMENT: Six days later, 8 separatists including Pakistan-trained Sher Khan, Noor
Mohammed Kalwal, Altaf Ahmad and Javed Ahmed Jargar were released
DECISION MAKER: V.P. Singh
PARTY: JANATA DAL
HAZRATBAL SEIGE (Sep-Oct 1993)
40 militants given safe passage
40 armed JKLF militants occupied the holy Hazratbal shrine and held nearly 170 civilians
hostage for six weeks
SETTLEMENT: Militants given safe passage on the understanding that they will give themselves
up to the local police and not the army, and their bail applications will not be contested. In six
months all were freed and escaped.
DECISION MAKER: PM P.V. Narasimha Rao
The PM spoke irresponsibly in ridiculing BJP for saving the lives of its
citizens in the Kandahar hijack
“I am not a weak Prime Minister”
“We sent commandos to fight terrorists in
“The BJP sent its External Affair Minister to
surrender at Kandahar”
Takes all his orders from 10 Janpath
PM in power but not in authority
Constantly threatened by allies during tenure
Has never won an election
Shies away from contesting elections even after 5 years as
The commandos reached 9 hours after the attack
PM, Defence Minister had received intelligence reports about
terrorists entering India from sea
Home minister was nowhere to be seen
Maharashtra Home Minister trivializes the incident
Media allowed to play in the hands of terrorists
Nearly 200 lives lost
Taliban could not have been trusted to make a fair deal
Jaswant Singh’s was an act of courage to save the lives of
Negotiations succeeded in bringing down the demand from
36 terrorists to 3
All remaining hostages safely brought back alive
Congress-led UPA government has left many questions unanswered
regarding its casual attitude towards the security of the country
Why did it oppose POTA?
Why is it soft on Bangladeshi
• Vajpayee Govt. introduced POTA to
fight against terror which was
vehemently opposed by Congress
• Bangladeshi infiltration has been
called an ‘external aggression’ by
• Congress removed POTA in 2004,
when it came to power.
• Congress opposed the law that
could have been effective in
• Most countries including USA have
tough anti-terror laws like POTA
Why was there no commission
set up after 26/11?
What has it done to prevent the
unprecedented terror attacks in
the last 5 years?
• Government has still not come out
with a neutral report on 26/11
• More than 67 bomb-blasts in the last
• Public sentiments have been
• No tough laws to prevent terror in
the name of vote-bank politics
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