Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that Pakistan minister Fawad Chaudhry admitting to the country’s role in the Pulwama terror attack had revealed the truth and silenced the Centre’s critics, PTI reported. Chaudhry had backtracked after his comment drew criticism.

“A Pakistani minister has revealed the truth in the Pulwama attack by giving a statement in the National Assembly,” Singh said at an election rally in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district. “Pakistan has accepted that they were behind the Pulwama attack. Until now, they had been saying they were not involved in it.”

Singh added: “Congress leaders had questioned our intent then. But now that a Pakistani minister has given a statement in the National Assembly that Pakistan was involved in the Pulwama attack, they are silent.”

The defence minister said that the Congress and other Opposition parties always raised questions when the Centre worked “with all its strength” to protect the country.

Singh added that the Congress’ only job now was to doubt and raise questions about the Centre’s achievements. “On the issue of the country’s territorial integrity, we should rise above political lines and work together,” he said. Singh claimed that Atal Bihari Vajpayee had praised former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the Parliament when she divided Pakistan into two parts.

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The defence minister contested the Opposition’s claim that China had taken control of India’s land. He told people at the rally that they will “jump out of joy” if the government told them about the Army’s achievements.

On Friday, Singh’s cabinet colleague Prakash Javadekar had demanded an apology from the Congress for talking about “conspiracy theories” related to the Pulwama terror attack.

Chaudhry had said in Pakistan’s National Assembly on Thursday that Pakistan hit India “in their home”. “Humne hindustan ko ghus ke maara [We hit India in their home],” he declared. “Our success in Pulwama, is a success of the people under the leadership of Imran Khan. You and we are all part of that success.”

The remark triggered an uproar in the Assembly, after which the minister said: “Pulwama ke waqiyeh ke baad, jab humne India ko ghus ke maara [When we hit India in their home after the incident at Pulwama]”.

In February 2019, 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed after an explosive-laden car driven by a suicide bomber rammed into their bus in Pulwama. In August, the National Investigation Agency had filed a chargesheet in the case. Nineteen people, including Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar and his brother Rauf Asghar, were named in the chargesheet.

The National Investigation Agency inquiry also revealed that Pakistan used Adil Ahmad Dar, the suicide bomber who rammed the CRPF convoy on February 14, because it wanted to project the attack as a result of a home-grown militancy against “India’s occupation of Kashmir”.