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Kandahar: Did Advani oppose freeing militants?
April 11, 2006 17:27 IST
Breaking his silence six years after the hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane to Afghanistan, the then home minister Lal Kishenchand Advani on Tuesday hinted he had opposed the decision to release terrorists.
"I don't want to comment on it now after so many years. But I had said within the government what I wanted to say at that time itself," the senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader said.
He added that the then external affairs minister was only implementing the government decision.
He, however, refused to elaborate what he had said within the government. The former deputy prime minister was responding to a question drawing parallels between the release of the three terrorists by the NDA government and the recent unanimous Kerala Assembly resolution demanding the release of the Coimbatore blast accused Madani from a Tamil Nadu jail.
It is perhaps for the first time that Advani had made public the differences that may have existed within the government on the issue.
The Indian Airlines flight IC 814 was hijacked from Kathmandu on December 24, 1999, and all the passengers were released after Singh escorted three terrorists to Kandahar in Afghanistan.