EVEN AS the Opposition sought strong action against Pakistan over the Uri attack, there was a visible toning down of rhetoric ,on retaliation, from the BJP and the government on Monday.
In the government, ministers avoided taking hawkish positions. “The Kashmir situation needs to be thought about. The action has to be taken without getting influenced by emotions, anger. It has to be taken coolly and with proper planning,” Union Minister of State Gen (retd) V K Singh was quoted as saying by PTI.
Jitendra Singh, MoS in the PMO, who on Sunday called for introspection and an effective strategy to deter such attacks in future, said today that the government would take the right decision at the right time. “The entire country wants that we respond to it, and the home ministry and defence ministry will decide on the strategy to be adopted. The right decision will be taken at the right time. The government will take a decision taking into consideration all aspects. It will be in the interest of the nation and keeping in mind the sentiments of 125 crore Indians,” said Singh on Monday.
“We will have to redeem the sacrifices of our brave soldiers in whatever way decided. On the issue of national security, I think all political parties stand united. If there is anyone who feels otherwise, they will have to answer to the nation,” he said. His ministerial colleague, Kiren Rijijju, MoS, Home Affairs, said: “We must not pay heed to Pakistan’s reaction. Everything is in front of the people. We will take our next steps carefully. It does not matter what Pakistan says.”
The BJP was equally restrained. A day after its senior leader Ram Madhav sought “for one tooth, the complete jaw”, the ruling party on Monday tried to strike a balance between the hawkish stand and the practical approach the government has to take before considering any action against the neighboring country. Party leaders said the government has to exercise restraint even as its cadres and political compulsions force it to take a hard position.
BJP leaders refused to comment on Madhav’s remark about the days of strategic restraint being over. “Facebook posts and tweets are individual views,” said a spokesperson. “We know the government is serious. But we can’t decide what action or approach it should take,” said a senior party leader. “Modi is serious about the response,” he added.
“While India gave many chances, Pakistan kept closing all doors of peace. It looks like Pakistan does not want peace and compromise. But we can’t say how we would respond. There are different ways — diplomatically, economically or through the Armed Forces. We have not tied the hands of the Army. The Army is free to take steps and the government will stand by it. Diplomatically, isolating Pakistan at the international forum is one way, and naming and shaming it for the terrorist activities is another way. From our side, the government has already been working on the three-tier fencing of the LoC,” said BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh. However, he added: “You don’t have to speak to act.”
Watch What Else Is Making News
According to BJP leaders, the party is keen to see that the government takes “strong action” at various levels. Pointing out that the government is left without any option after it allowed Pakistani officials to visit the Pathankot air base after the attack there, a BJP leader said the government would “definitely take some action.”
Outlining the options, he said the government could target the training camps in PoK. “Another option is to weaken those who receive the militants/ infiltrators inside our soil. So the Hurriyat and other separatists should face pressure. The government will not leave any loose ends here,” he said.