Pulwama attack shows time for talks with Pakistan over: PM

PTI
Monday, 18 February 2019

"Now, it is required that the world unites against terrorism and those who support it. Hesitation to take action against terrorism and those who support it is akin to encouraging terrorism," Modi said

NEW DELHI/JAIPUR: As calls for retaliatory action over the Pulwama terror attack grew, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said time for talks with Pakistan is over while BJP chief Amit Shah asserted that the NDA government would not let the sacrifices of jawans go in vain.

The assertions by the two top BJP leaders came on a day when the party's estranged ally Shiv Sena said it was time to "attack" Pakistan to seek revenge for the killing of 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir, adding that the prime minister's assurance of taking the perpetrators to task should reflect in his actions.

The attack was carried out by a lone suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) on February 14 when he rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into a CRPF bus convoy in Pulwama district.

Union Minister of State for External Affairs Gen(retd) VK Singh said India will choose the time and place for retaliation and that it will be "properly planned and well thought of".

"Any war, war-like or punitive action must be planned for success. It should be a cold act and nothing is to be done in a hurry," said Singh, a former Army chief.

"Even Osama (Bin Laden) was not killed in a day despite the fact that USA had known he was hidden in Pakistan. Let us wait and watch and support our forces," Singh told reporters in Shimla.

After holding delegation-level talks with visiting Argentine President Mauricio Macri in Delhi, Modi said any hesitation to take action against terrorism and those who support it is akin to encouraging the menace.

Without naming Pakistan, he said the world should unite to take concrete action against terrorism and those who support it.

"I and President Macri agree with the view that terrorism is a serious danger to world's peace and stability. The cruel attack in Pulwama shows that the time for talks has passed.

"Now, it is required that the world unites against terrorism and those who support it. Hesitation to take action against terrorism and those who support it is akin to encouraging terrorism," Modi said in a press statement in the presence of Marci .

Asserting that the BJP-led government would not let the sacrifices of jawans go in vain, Shah said no political leader in the world has Modi's political will to tackle terrorism.

Addressing party workers in Jaipur, Shah said the Army would give a fitting reply and only Modi could provide the strong government the country needs.

The BJP government, he added, has started giving terrorists a befitting reply and has achieved success.

The entire country is today standing rock solid with the families of martyrs. The Modi-led BJP government will not let their sacrifice go in vain. A befitting reply for the martyrdom of jawans will be given by the Army, Shah said.

Shah said the BJP has zero tolerance policy towards terrorism and "no leader in the world has political will like Modi to tackle terrorism".

At his news conference, Gen(retd) V K Singh said Pakistan has been "isolated" internationally after the Pulwama attack.

He said more than 40 countries have issued strong statements against Pakistan.

In a veiled attack on Modi, the Shiv Sena said no political "wave" had ever solved the Kashmir issue or stopped the killing of soldiers.

It was not the time to launch a "surgical strike" against political opponents, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party remarked in an editorial in its mouthpiece, "Saamana".

The Sena said while the government patted itself for "isolating" Pakistan at the international level, the neighbouring country was still carrying out terror attacks on Indian soil.

"The country has seen waves of anger and political triumphs, but it neither solved the Kashmir issue nor stopped the killing of soldiers," it noted.

Referring to the Indian Army's surgical strikes in 2016 on seven terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) as a response to an attack on its base in Uri, it said the action was followed by "chest thumping" on how a lesson was taught to Pakistan.

"But we must understand what exactly a real surgical strike is. The way the US entered Pakistan and killed (al-Qaeda chief) Osama bin Laden (for the deadly 9/11 terror attacks in America), that is called a surgical strike," it opined.

"This is not the time for carrying out surgical strikes on political opponents, but it is the time to attack Pakistan and seek revenge for the killing of our jawans.... The prime minister has talked about seeking revenge, now it should reflect in actions," the Marathi publication said.

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav, meanwhile, sought to corner the Modi government over the death of soldiers in the Pulwama attack, asking "why the government is waiting and watching".

"Till when will the three day period of mourning keep getting extended? Everyday we get news of the brave martyrdom of our jawans while smiling BJP politicians accompany their funeral processions. Why is the govt waiting and watching?," he said in a tweet.

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