Congress leader Manish Tewari on Thursday said that his new book does not say that United Progressive Alliance (UPA) goernment was soft or weak on the security after the Mumbai terror attack in 2008 and that "restraint is perceived as weakness".
Speaking at an event on the launch of his book, '10 Flashpoints: 20 years-National Security Situations That Impacted India', Tewari said, "If you read the paragraph in entirety, it doesn't say that the UPA govt was soft or weak on security. The paragraph says that the state that has no compunctions about slaughtering people in cold blood, restraint is perceived as a weakness, not as a sign of strength."
The Congress leader, who is a member of "G23" which wrote to Congress presisent Sonia Gandhi last year seeking sweeping reforms in the party, said that a perception got created in Pakistan when the UPA government chose to exercise "strategic restraint" after the Mumbai attack.
"This was about the perception that got created in Pakistan when we chose to exercise strategic restraint. It was not about the fact that the UPA government or the options which it explored were the weak options," he said.
"Given the sheer barbarity which was unleashed, in my opinion, and I have always felt this way, that we should try and explore what kinetic options that we have available an try and operationalise that," Tewari added.
Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and party leader Anand Sharma were among those present.
During the release, Manish Tewari said that Pakistan did not change its behaviour after the surgical strikes in 2016.
"There's no empirical evidence that deep state in Pakistan was worried or changed its behaviour after the Uri Surgical strikes. Don't forget Pulwama happened after Uri strikes," he said.
"When I was writing this book, people told me that I am writing my expulsion notice. But I think there hasn't been much discussion on national security in legislative corridors," he added.
Bharatiya Janata Party leaders including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh have targeted the Congress over Tewari's remarks in the book.
Rajnath Singh said it has "accepted that the (UPA) government should have taken effective action after the terror attack in 2008".
Tewari has written in the book: "For a state that has no compunctions in brutally slaughtering hundreds of innocent people, restraint is not a sign of strength; it is perceived as a symbol of weakness. There comes a time when actions must speak louder than words. 26/11 was one such time when it just should have been done".