CONGRESS on Wednesday reminded Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he had advocated a stern approach towards Pakistan while in opposition and asked him to walk the talk in the wake of the Pathankot attack. It also stepped up its criticism of the government over its handling of the terror strike, arguing that there was a “clear-cut failure” of the Prime Minister’s political leadership as also the “command and control structure” to fight terrorism.
Former Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, who was fielded by the Congress, said there have been “grave lapses” in handling of the terrorist strike and demanded that responsibility be fixed and suggested some heads must roll. “They should realise that it has gone wrong and resignations should happen. If there is a lapse, resignations should happen,” he said.
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This came a day after Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar admitted to some gaps that led to the attack on the airbase.
Shinde said the Punjab DGP has already stated that it had information about terrorists having kidnapped an SP on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1. The Punjab Police has said it had informed the Centre immediately.
“It is clear that a period of nearly 20-24 hours lapsed between the first incident committed by terrorists and the first contact with terrorists in the airbase. No one has explained the reason for this fatal lapse of time in tackling terrorists. Also, will the Prime Minister and the government explain as to who is responsible for grave security lapse as terrorists managed to reach the Pathankot airbase despite advance intelligence alert and reporting of prior incident?” he said.
“In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, Modi bitterly criticised the UPA government by mocking us to ‘stop writing love letters to Pakistan and give Pakistan an answer in the language it understands’. He had said that talks cannot take place amid gun shots and bomb blasts… Modi should introspect. Our Defence Minister calls death of soldiers bad luck… The country cannot be run like this. (They should) fight courageously. There can be friendship, but when we are attacked we should not tolerate it. We should reply in the same coin,” Shinde said.
Congress also played video clips of Modi favouring a tough approach while dealing with Pakistan ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.