STEPPING UP the BJP’s attack on the Congress over the issue of national security, party president Amit Shah on Friday alleged that the Congress policy had always been “hesitant about terrorism, separatism and Naxalism”. He also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tenure has kept terrorists at bay.
In a blog, Shah said pressure had been built against Pakistan at the global level over terror mastermind Masood Azhar after the Pulwama attack. “This shabby face of Pakistan has been exposed before the world…. In such a situation, Pakistan has been totally isolated… vis a vis terrorist mastermind Masood Azhar and his organization Jaish-e-Mohammad,” he said.
However, he said, the way some political parties, including the Congress, questioned the government was “just helping terrorists”.
Shah’s blog targeting the Congress is significant in the backdrop of the debate on the issue of national security ahead of the polls.
By raising the issue of Masood’s release from jail by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government in 1999, the Congress has triggered a debate on such decisions taken in past, Shah said. “It is unfortunate that the Congress is making Kandahar aircraft hijacking a political tool for garnering support… It is important to note that ‘Kandahar’ was an incident involving lives of more than170 people of India so it should not be politicised. Some of those people were also from other countries, whose security was our responsibility.”
He accused Congress chief Rahul Gandhi of “misguiding” the people and “showing insensitivity towards the lives of those people”. He said Vajpayee had convened an all-party meet that was attended by Sonia Gandhi and former PM Manmohan Singh and all parties had “unanimously agreed” that nothing was more important than lives of passengers.
Shah referred to the release of terrorists to free former home minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed’s daughter Rubaiya Sayeed in 1989 during V P Singh’s tenure. He also said the Congress should explain why the UPA government released 25 terrorists on May 28, 2010 although it did not face the circumstances of the earlier dispensations. One of them, Shahid Lateef, was main handler of the 2016 Pathankot attack, he added.
Pointing out that the country faced terror attacks at several places, including Mumbai, Delhi and Jaipur, during UPA rule, he said that since the Modi government came to power, “we have succeeded in keeping the terrorists at the border… On the border of the country, the Modi government’s policy is ‘zero tolerance’ against terrorism.”