As terrorists killed three security personnel in Pathankot, political parties asked the government to remain firm but also ensure the bilateral peace process does not suffer.
Captain Amarinder Singh, Congress deputy leader in Lok Sabha and former Punjab chief minister, said, “It is a clear attempt by rogue elements in Pakistan to subvert and sabotage the peace process between the two countries, which must not be allowed at any cost.”
In Delhi, the Congress party said in a statement, “PM Modi used to say he will show red eyes to Pakistan and then talk to them. We don’t want him to show red eyes but we want him to take firm action to protect the lives of our citizens and ensure that our valiant security forces and Army do not lay their lives at the hands of Pakistani terror module, which is continued to be exported.”
But the BJP asked the Congress not to politicise the issue. It maintained that dialogue with Pakistan cannot be called off due to “one attack”. Union minister Prakash Javadekar said, “Unless you talk terror, terror will not come down.”
Jammu & Kashmir National Conference chief Omar Abdullah urged the BJP to “insulate” the Indo-Pak dialogues from the incident. “The BJP now has to sidestep its previous “terror & talks can’t go together” & insulate the Indo-Pak dialogue from such attacks. #Pathankot,” he tweeted. Abdullah also dubbed the attacks as the “first major challenge to PM Modi’s bold Pakistan gambit”.
The Shiv Sena also took potshots at the Centre’s attempts to talk peace with Pakistan. Questioning the government’s response to the attack, the party wondered when it would give the neighbour the ‘fitting reply’ it had been promising. “We have been hearing that we will give Pakistan a befitting reply. But when will this reply be given? What happened today is something that we had feared for a very long time. Hence, we have maintained that talks with Pakistan can’t go on till the time terrorism exists,” said party spokesperson and MP Sanjay Raut.
CPI, which had welcomed Modi’s sudden stopover in Lahore to greet his Pak counterpart Nawaz Sharif, condemned the attack but maintained that both countries should not fall into the trap of provocation by terror outfits. CPI MP D Raja said, “We strongly condemn the attack. It happened after the PM’s visit to Pakistan. This appears to be an attempt by terror outfits to derail any dialogue process and initiative taken by both the countries.”
Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel maintained that the attack, coming after the meeting of the two PMs, “raises serious questions”. “We seriously need to ponder over the situation,” Patel said.