Pathankot attack: Congress targets PM, BJP says talks can’t be ‘destroyed’ due to one attack

Suspected JeM terrorists from Pakistan on Saturday struck at an Air Force base in Pathankot in Punjab killing four of the attackers in the operation that lasted more than five hours.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: January 3, 2016 7:19 am
pathankot attack, pathankot terror attack, punjab terror attack, pathankot live, punjab attacks live, punjab news, india news, punjab attacks news, latest news File photo of Congress leader Randeep Surjewala. (Source: PTI)

In the wake of the Pathankot terror attack, the Congress has raised concerns about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s handling of the country’s internal security and its affairs with Pakistan.

“It is a very serious matter as seven days after PM Modi visited Pakistan to meet his counterpart Nawaz Sharif, a terrorist module comes from Pakistan, attacks Punjab and our frontline security installation,” said AICC communication department chief Randeep Surjewala.

He added that this points towards the fact that despite the PM’s visit to Pakistan, ISI continues to sustain and support terror activities against India.

Read | Pathankot LIVE: Manohar Parrikar meets Service chiefs, NSA Doval

Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said the attack showed that Modi’s engagement with Sharif did not have the “unequivocal endorsement” of the entire Pakistan establishment, including the ISI.

“Certain concerns were expressed and caution given by us…but those were dismissed as partisan criticism,” he said. He said his party was not against engagement with Pakistan, “but theatrics is not a substitute for serious diplomacy”.

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The BJP shot back, accusing the Congress of “politicising” the terror attack. “When the whole nation is standing with the security forces, Congress is singing a different tune. It is very unfortunate and we condemn it,” Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said.

He said that the resumed dialogue with Pakistan will continue despite the attack adding, “unless you talk terror, terror will not come down”. He pointed out that after Modi’s recent Lahore visit, the onus was on Pakistan to fulfil its promise made to India in 2004 that it will not allow its land to be used for fostering terrorism.

“This process (talks) cannot be destroyed due to one attack… Pakistan is our neighbour. You cannot change your neighbour, you can change friends and therefore we must continue with the talks, but talks have to be mainly on the issue of terrorism and that’s exactly what India is doing,” said Javadekar.

CPI said the attack must not derail talks and urged India and Pakistan not to fall into the “trap of provocation” by terror outfits.

Bid to undo PM’s effort: Prakash Singh Badal

Bhagwal: Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal said the attack was an attempt to disrupt the peace initiative launched by PM Narendra Modi with his visit to Pakistan. He said Modi’s efforts should have been reciprocated with friendship but the response from across the border needs to be condemned by the global community.