26 February, 2021

Rajput In Kandahar

Post-blasts, Jaswant's tell-all book on the hijack drama jars

Rajput In Kandahar
Former foreign minister Jaswant Singh's book A Call to Honour, an account of the hijack of IC-814 to Kandahar in Afghanistan, is threatening to become a badge of dishonour for the BJP. It has already prompted demands for a CBI inquiry into whether $200 million was paid as ransom for the exchange of 166 hostages, and whether it was appropriate for a cabinet minister to ferry three terrorists—Mohammad Masood Azhar, Mushtaq Latrum and Ahmed Omar Sayed Sheikh—in the plane that he took to Afghanistan.

The book's release also appears grossly mistimed. Coming so soon after the Mumbai blasts, it has brought back to public memory the hijack saga—and the ensuing mishandling—at a time the BJP wanted to pillory the Congress for allegedly being soft on terrorism. Jaswant Singh's book may have snatched the issue from the BJP, though its release now is expected to boost sales.

At the time of going to the press, Outlook didn't have a copy of the book. But agency reports suggest Jaswant claims in his book that he went to Kandahar...

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