The Shiv Sena, a junior partner in the Narendra Modi-led government, on Wednesday criticised the Centre’s handling of relations with Pakistan saying leaders are busy having tea in Pakistan, and instead called for revenge in a language the country would understand.
Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray said the government should make it clear India will not entertain any ministers, artists or personalities from Pakistan, or have any talks with the country until it reciprocates by giving India respect and stops the violence.
“Recently, Union minister Rajnath Singh was on an official visit to Pakistan and the Indian media were blocked from covering the event. We respect their ministers, personalities and artistes. They don’t. How is that fair? Is the government’s policy such that come what may, we will keep having tea with Pakistan?” Thackeray said during a press meet.
In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamna, the party said the government promised stringent action after the attacks on the Pathankot air base earlier this year, but nothing happened. Instead of teaching Pakistan a lesson, India had started exchanging words of love with the country, it said. “Show that India’s hands are empowered with the mace of Mahabharata’s Bheem and not tied down with bangles. Take revenge,” the Saamna editorial said. Referring to the flak the Sena faced last year after it opposed Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali’s concert and former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book launch in Mumbai, Thackeray carped that whenever Sena spoke out on the issue, it faced protests.
“The environment is extremely frustrating.”