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Govt calls all-party meet over Pulwama attack, Congress offers full support

The all-party meet over Pulwama terror attack is likely to be held on Saturday on Rajnath Singh’s return from Kashmir Valley.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2019 17:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Pulwama Terror Attack,Narendra Modi,All Party Meet
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting Friday morning to discuss post-Pulwama terror attack security situation in the Kashmir Valley.(HT photo)

The Narendra Modi government has called an all-party meeting, which will be held after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s return from the Kashmir Valley. The main opposition party, the Congress on Friday extended full support to the government saying “we are not going to be divided”.

Earlier, Singh flew to the Valley to assess the security situation following a terror attack in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, where a suicide bomber targeted a convoy of security forces on Thursday.

The decision to call an all-party meet was taken during a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence in New Delhi. Emerging from the CCS meet, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “The Home Minister, after his return from Kashmir, will soon call an all-party meeting.”

The meeting is likely to be held on Saturday, when the government will brief the parties about the Pulwama terror attacks and security situation in Kashmir. A convoy of 78 vehicles carrying more than 2,500 Central Reserve Police Force jawans from Jammu to Srinagar was targeted in a suicide bombing. An explosive-laden SUV rammed one of the buses in the convoy ripping it apart.

Watch | Stand with government, no other conversation: Rahul Gandhi on Pulwama attack

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The CRPF has confirmed the death of at least 38 jawans. Earlier reports put the death toll at 44. The paramilitary force has ordered a full Court of Inquiry (CoI) into the Pulwama terror attack.

At CCS meet, the government decided to “initiate” steps to completely isolate Pakistan over its continued support to terrorism. Jaitley said, there is “incontrovertible evidence” that Pakistan has a direct hand behind the gruesome attack on the CRPF convoy.

Later speaking at a public event, PM Modi served a stern warned Pakistan of consequences. Without taking name of Pakistan, PM Modi said the terror outfits and their supporters have committed a grave mistake for which they “will be definitely punished.”

The Congress extended its support to the government over the issue. Party president Rahul Gandhi said, “The entire opposition will stand together with our jawans and our government.”

“This is a terrible tragedy. This type of violence done against our security forces is absolutely disgusting. The aim of terrorism is to divide this country and we are not going to be divided,” Gandhi said.

The Congress also announced to cancelled the political rallies and functions of Gandhi and other senior party leaders on Friday in the wake of Pulwama terror attack. Gandhi said, “This is a time of mourning. This is a time of sadness. This is a time of respect. We are fully supportive of the Government of India and our security forces.”

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“There is going to be no other discussion (political) as far as I am concerned, from the Congress party over the next couple of days on this matter,” said Gandhi refusing to make any political comments at his press conference where he was flanked by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Congress leader in the Rajya Sabha.

On Thursday evening, newly appointed Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra put off her press conference in Lucknow saying talking politics would be “inappropriate” at this moment.

The BJP also cancelled the political functions of PM Modi and party president Amit Shah on Friday. PM Modi was scheduled to address a public rally in Madhya Pradesh’s Itarsi. It would have been the first visit of the prime minister to Madhya Pradesh since the BJP lost power in last year’s assembly election there.

Amit Shah was slated to address a rally of the booth-level BJP workers in Odisha’s Sambalpur. This was to be the third visit of Amit Shah in Odisha this year in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections.

Also Read | Kashmir attack: Pak envoy summoned, ‘verifiable’ action against JeM sought

First Published: Feb 15, 2019 17:25 IST