Raising objections to Pakistan Army Chief General Javed Bajwa’s remarks on Jammu and Kashmir, Shiva Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Saturday hit out at the Narendra Modi-led government over its stance on the neighbouring country, saying India must respond with bullets and not talks.
According to news agency ANI, in an editorial published in the party’s mouthpiece Saamana, the MP launched a veiled attack on the prime minister and asked whether “the man with the 56-inch chest would retaliate to the remark made by the Pakistani Army chief”.
Reminding Modi about his promise to make Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir a part of India prior to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Raut said, “The manner in which the Pakistan Army chief has threatened, the prime minister and defence minister should be asked questions about it. Before the elections (2014), BJP and PM Modi had said that they will make Pakistan Occupied Kashmir a part of India. We would like to ask the PM about it (poll promise).”
“The government is going to complete five years. When you had asked for votes, you had promised this and we had even clapped for you. Where did that strength go now? Pakistan ke saath humko jo vyavhaar karna chahiye, wo vyayhaar boli ka nahi goli ka karna chahiye (We must engage with Pakistan through bullets, and not talks),” he said.
The editorial further claimed that despite many such remarks, ceasefire violations and terrorist attacks, the government did “nothing except making statements”. “The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which leads the government at the Centre, criticises former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru whenever the issues of China, Pakistan, and Kashmir are raised. But even they did not take any step against the neighbouring country,” Raut said.
The Shiv Sena leader also asserted that Islamabad’s double-face was exposed when, on one hand, its newly sworn-in Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke about peace but the Army Chief asked his troops to “avenge the blood of its soldiers being shed on the border”.
On Thursday, Bajwa reaffirmed Islamabad’s support for “self-determination” in Jammu and Kashmir. While addressing the Defence and Martyrs Day ceremony organised at the Pakistan Army headquarters in Rawalpindi, attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Bajwa said Pakistan supported the people in Jammu and Kashmir in their “struggle for the right to self-determination”.