Special Reports

Here's what Azam Khan actually said about Kargil war victory

Muslim soldiers were behind India’s victory in Kargil war, reiterates Azam Khan
By Piyush Babele and Akhtar Ali

New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) has banned Uttar Pradesh Minority Affairs Minister Azam Khan from addressing any public rally in the state following complaints that he had delivered a communal speech during an election campaign earlier this week.

But in an interview with these correspondents, Mr Khan said that his speech for which he had been booked, was in no way communal and that he firmly stood by his speech. [Video Courtesy ABP News below]

On April 7, during his election campaign in Masoori village of Ghaziabad Mr Khan said that Indian Muslim soldiers played a key role in India’s defeat of Pakistani forces in the 1999 Kargil War.

Soon after, a short video clip of his speech went viral on the YouTube as many complained that Mr Khan’s speech in the rally was communal in nature.

As soon as reports of the allegedly communal speech were published in the media, leaders from the BJP and other groups criticised Khan for, they charged, he was dividing the Indian Army on communal lines, and demanded action against him.

Now apart from banning the Samajwady Party leader from addressing any public rally before the general election, the EC has also asked Uttar Pradesh authorities to file criminal suit against him.

However, Mr Khan told these correspondents that he had got the information about the special role the Muslim soldiers had played in the Kargil War from a senior Indian army officer and that his statement in Masoori was in no way communal or wrong.

“In a meeting with me, an Indian Army officer narrated how the (Indian) Muslim soldiers posed as personnel of another wing of the Pakistani Army to confuse their Pakistani counterparts and it led to India’s victory in the final leg of the war. In my speech in Masoori I said exactly what I had known from the Indian Army officer,” Mr Khan said.

“In my speech for which I am being criticised now I said nothing but how the Muslim soldiers contributed to India’s victory in the Kargil War and how they are always ready to sacrifice their lives for the motherland.”

In his speech he sought to highlight his point that Muslims too are defending India and the minority community deserves to be loved by the majority community, the 66-year-old political leader said.

Although Khan refused to provide the name of the army officer, he said that he was from Bhopal.

“He is a good friend now and we are in touch with each other. I shall indeed disclose his identity at an appropriate time. I am sure if people watch the full video of my speech in that context  none among them will find it communal,” he said.
"I am being unfairly targeted by my political rivals and a section of the media.
"The decision by the EC reflects a bias against me. I shall urge the the EC to review its decision."


Also Watch NDTV's report: Kargil: Journey of victory
Col Ajit Singh recalls his memories of Kargil with NDTV.
Published On: July 25, 2009 | Duration: 20 min, 13 sec

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