With Terrorists striking for the second time in 10 days, the Congress alleged Wednesday that the BJP government was “soft on terror” and reminded Prime Minister Narendra Modi of his pre-election remarks that dialogue with Pakistan was not possible amid bomb blasts and gunshots.
Hours after a suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba man from Pakistan was captured after the terror attack in Udhampur, the Congress said the Narendra Modi government’s engagement with Islamabad was opaque and asked the government to take political parties into confidence before the National Security Advisor-level talks later this month.
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The Congress did not demand that the talks be called off, leaving the tricky decision to the government by reminding the Prime Minister of his past statements.
“Signals continue to emanate that the Modi government is soft on terror or is unable to tackle terror in an appropriate fashion and manner. The Prime Minister is expected to decide a strong policy on national security in national interest in his and government’s wisdom. They can always discuss various issues of national security across the political spectrum. There is no bar. It has been done in the past. It can be done again, but it remains the prerogative of the government,” Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said.
When it was in the opposition, the BJP used to frequently hurl at the UPA the charge that it was soft on terror. Asked whether the scheduled NSA level talks should go on, Surjewala said the Congress has always been in favour of “good bilateral relationship” and “resolving all problems through talks”.
“But in light of these grave provocations, the Prime Minister, Home Minister and government must decide what should be the contours of talks with Pakistan in light of this incontrovertible evidence, what is the action that Prime Minister would ask his counterpart in Pakistan to take,” he said.
“How long now before Pakistan hands over Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Hafeez Sayeed and others to India to face trial for 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and how does Prime Minister Modi propose to tackle terror considering the planned provocations coming from Pakistan — these answers he must give not only to Parliament but also to the people of India,” he said.
Surjewala said Wednesday’s attack was the second in 10 days and there was also a spurt in ceasefire violations. Over 800 ceasefire violations have taken place on the Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir alone, he said.