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Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar contradicts defence minister, says surgical strikes happened in past

New Delhi: The army had carried out "target specific, limited-calibre, counter-terrorist operations" across the LoC in the past too but this is for the first time the government has gone public about it, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said on Tuesday, in remarks that appear to contradict the Defence Minister's claim.

Jaishankar gave this information to the Parliamentary Committee on Exernal Affairs when he was asked by MPs whether surgical strikes have been done in the past.

"Professionally done, target-specific, limited calibre counter-terrorist operations" have been carried out across the LoC in the past too, but this is for the first time that the government has made it public," he said, according to reports.

His comments are important in the context of claims by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar last week who rejected Congress's claims that surgical strikes were undertaken during the UPA government too.

He had asserted that it was the first time that surgical strikes had taken place in the aftermath of the Uri terror attack and what had happened previously were operations locally executed by commanders without involving the government.