Crossed border armed operations against terrorists were carried out even before the current dispensation led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lieutenant General (Retd) DS Hooda said in Jaipur, reported news agency ANI on Saturday.
Responding to a question on the Congress party's claim that six surgical strikes had been carried out during its rule too, Lt Gen Hooda said: "As has been said by many people and ex-veterans as well that surgical strike or cross border operations have been carried out in the past by the Army too, but I am not aware of the exact date and areas."
"But, certainly, cross border operations in the past by the Indian Army across the Line of Control (LoC) have been carried out," said Lt Gen Hooda, who is considered as the chief architect of the 2016 surgical strikes.
Earlier this year Lt. Gen Hooda was tasked by Congress president Rahul Gandhi to head a panel on national security and prepare a report, which he submitted in March.
Batting for no use of armed forces during elections as it causes damage to the Army, Lt Gen Hooda said: "It is not right for any political party to bring the Army in elections as directed by the Election Commission. It will cause long term damage to the institution ultimately."
Earlier on Saturday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claimed that no surgical strike was carried out during the previous regimes.
"Surgical strike happened for the first time on September 29, 2016. There is no record of surgical strikes before this. This information has been given by the Director General, Military Operations in an RTI reply," said BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao in Delhi.
Hitting out at the Congress, Rao said: "Every Congress leader is giving the number of surgical strikes carried out during the UPA regime. One says it was two, another says it was six, while some others say it was 10. Does the Congress carry out any surgical strike from its office on Akbar Road, 24?"
Former, Army Chief and Union minister VK Singh who is contesting the Lok Sabha elections on BJP from Ghaziabad has also rubbished Congress' claims of surgical strikes under UPA regime, and said the party has "a habit of lying".
The Congress Thursday came out with a list of six anti-terror surgical strikes carried out during the UPA rule, asserting that it never tried to take political advantage from military operations as was being done by the BJP.
The Congress released the list at a press conference after BJP leader Arun Jaitley took a jibe at the opposition party, saying its surgical strikes were "invisible and unknown".
Speaking at a press briefing, Congress leader Rajiv Shukla had said: "Six surgical strikes were conducted during the UPA government. One was conducted on June 19, 2008, in Bhattal Sector in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch, one from August 30-September 1, 2011 in Sharda Sector across Neelam river Valley in Kel."
"One surgical strike was carried out on January 6, 2013, at Sawan Patra check-post; one on July 27 and July 28, 2013, in Nazapir Sector; August 6, 2013, in Neelam Valley; and one on January 14, 2014," he added.
Shukla had also stated that two surgical strikes were carried out when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister of the country.
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