When India launched a major cross-border cover offensive – it’s first in peacetime – in Myanmar early this year, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore went gung-ho and tweeted this:
— Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) June 9, 2015
His tweet received both praise and jeers, but many within the government were unhappy about it and said that Rathore’s statements were “avoidable”. Their contention was that such a declaration would put Myanmar in a tight spot and affect the country’s ties with India.
It appears that Rathore has learnt not to speak out of tune. So when talking to Rahul Kanwal at Aaj Tak’s ‘Seedhi Baat’, he agreed that covert operations are not something you discuss openly.
When asked why a military operation was not being carried out against Pakistan-based terrorists Dawood Ibrahim or Hafiz Saeed, Rathore said that it depends on whether the government is willing to carry out such an operation and the nature of the operation – covert or special.
He said that the Indian government might explore the possibility of either kind of operation but he was unsure whether or not India was planning such a thing.
“Ho sakta hai abhi ho rahi ho. Ho sakta hai nahi ho rahi ho. Lekin charcha hogi, hone ke baad.”
He said that if the Indian government wanted to carry out such an operation, it won’t be talked about until it is executed. “It might never be talked about,” he added.
Maintaining that India is always ready to neutralize her enemies, Rathore issued a stern message saying that they should never be “under the delusion that India is not thinking about them”.
Rathore added that the government considers dialogue with Pakistan as the best way to move forward on their relationship.
A section of the media, however, took Rathore’s comments out of context. It began when Rahul Kanwal tweeted this:
Breaking: For the first time a minister in Modi Govt comes on record to say India considering covert operations to take down Dawood Ibrahim. — Rahul Kanwal (@rahulkanwal) September 6, 2015
Many maintained that those were not the words of the minister:
— Shetty (@Sharanyashettyy) September 6, 2015
— Tanvi Madan (@tanvi_madan) September 6, 2015
Rathore himself came onto the field to clarify his stand: