Advani and Kandahar
The “secular” parties have been going hammer and tongs about Sri Advani’s “failure” during the Kandahar crisis. The best thing about the past is that facts can be conveniently twisted to suit the present. I decided to dig up some archives and found that the ground reality during that episode was far different from what is being made out to be now.
On Dec 27, 1999, one day after the hijack happened, an all-party-meeting was called. The Opposition parties came out with a statement which is almost like a we-dont-want-to-get-involved-in-this-mess kind of response. Quoted below is their stance on the matter (source – previous link)
“According to political parties present at the meeting, such a crucial decision was the government’s and the government’s alone. 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”
They literally washed their hands off the whole episode!
Secondly, a lot of noise was made about Sri Advani’s position on this matter. Read this article. This came out on Jan 1, 2000. It quotes sources to say that Sri Advani was very unhappy with the release of the terrorists.
“Advani underscored that releasing the terrorists would be tantamount to India bowing to the blackmail of the Taliban aided and abetted by Pakistan. Advani pointed out that the terrorists’ release would fuel terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir with a vengeance again, and all the good work done by the government would come undone”
It is completely strange that these parties are trying to now brainwash the public into thinking that the decision on releasing terrorists during the Kandahar episode was of Sri Advani alone, when it seems that the decision was taken in spite of his opposition. And the opposition parties at that time seemed to have “left the decision” to the Government while making it clear that the safety of the passengers was top most priority. Not sure how many other options were open after such conditions.