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12 May, 2019 12:11

Indian PM Modi ‘deservingly mocked’ for saying clouds could help IAF ‘escape’ Pakistani radar

Indian PM Modi ‘deservingly mocked’ for saying clouds could help IAF ‘escape’ Pakistani radar

Narendra Modi has stirred a Twitterstorm for a recent remark he made about a meeting to plan February’s Balakot airstrike. He suggested to Indian air chiefs that bad weather could actually help the country’s pilots.

The Indian prime minister made the comments during an interview with local TV on Saturday, when he discussed the retaliatory raid on the suspected jihadist training camp in Pakistani territory. The raid came in response to a suicide bomb attack that killed 44 members of India’s police force in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

“The weather suddenly turned bad. There was a doubt about whether we can strike in bad weather,” Modi said of the meeting, noting that some military experts wanted to postpone the raid. Wanting to maintain secrecy of the mission, Modi urged the military brass to proceed, even suggesting that the clouds would help Indian warplanes evade Pakistani radars.

I said I have a raw vision, the clouds can benefit us too. We can escape the radar. Everyone was confused. Ultimately I said there are clouds... let’s proceed.

The clip and quote from Modi were initially shared on Twitter by Modi’s BJP party but were later deleted. However, eagle-eyed political opponents had already spotted the tweet and were quick to deride Modi for the gaffe.

“Looks like the tweet got lost in the clouds. Luckily there are screenshots floating around to help,” tweeted former MP and chief minister for Jammu & Kashmir, Omar Abdullah.

Sitaram Yechury, who heads India’s Communist Party, blasted Modi’s comments as “highly damaging,” adding that national security shouldn’t be “trifled with.” He later said that Modi had been “deservingly mocked” for his “ridiculous comments.”

Tweeting under the hashtag ‘EntireCloudCover’, many outside of politics also did not pull punches on Modi. One person even summed up the situation with a quote from the writer Mark Twain.

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