As the government on Thursday linked the forthcoming foreign secretary-level talks to “prompt and decisive action” by Pakistan on the evidence provided by India on the Pathankot terror attack, the Congress told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he should “neither walk, nor talk with terror.”
In yet another scathing attack on the PM for his “immature handling” of Pakistan, Congress said that he had belittled the stature of the office he holds.
“Modi’s Pakistan policy is confused, lacks continuity and is bereft of institutional guidance. It is like an unguided missile which creates a spectacle when fired, but loses trajectory and inevitably crash-lands. Stop embarrassing India,” said senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal. He added that Congress believed in talks with Pakistan, “but not under threat…that is why our Prime Minister never visited Pakistan. He never dropped in.”
“Mr Prime Minister, it is our advice that you should neither walk, nor talk with terror. And when the country is in the midst of dealing with a terrorist threat, then it is time to skip yoga lessons and be in Delhi to take charge. A supple body also needs a supple mind. A little circumspection before dropping in at the padosi’s birthday party might have saved us the embarrassment. Sometimes a hug can become a bug,” he said.
Congress also pointed out that while in opposition, the BJP had opposed the UPA government’s proposal to set up a National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) to streamline intelligence gathering to tackle terror better.
“Today, they realise that had they put the NCTC in place, we would not have suffered in this manner,” said Sibal.
Referring to PM’s Lahore visit, he added, “Acceptance of such an informal invitation without any preparatory homework is unbecoming of a Prime Minister, who has exposed himself to ridicule after yet another betrayal by Pakistan at Pathankot. Though Modi and his bhakts (supporters) may term his presence at a family event as out-of-the-box diplomacy, it is in reality ‘mindless diplomacy’. Modi’s uncharacteristic surprises often end up embarrassing the nation,” said Sibal. He said that “mindless wooing of Pakistan is bound to result in betrayal”.
The Congress targeted National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, saying the entire Pathankot operation was mishandled by him in the absence of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister in Delhi.