Ministers flay Pakistan, Congress takes dig at Modi

New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) A day after the Uri terror attack that left 18 soldiers killed, several Union ministers on Monday targetted Pakistan, as the opposition Congress took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“(The) country is running out of patience and it is high time to teach a lesson to Pakistan and its perpetrators,” Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said.

“They (Pakistan) want to cripple the Indian economy; they want to weaken the country. It is not acceptable at all,” Naidu said and urged the world community to come together to isolate Pakistan.

The Indian Army has said the attack was carried out by Pakistan-based militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said India was not concerned about Pakistani denials and reactions, and will react appropriately and at its own pace.

“Everything is in front of the people. We must not give much attention to Pakistan’s reaction. We will take our steps carefully,” Rijiju said.

Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said a befitting reply would be given to Pakistan.

“This is not the first time… We know Pakistan’s hand is behind this,” said Bhamre.

“Let’s be sure that something will be done and a befitting reply given.”

Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said the neighbouring country was inviting harm by continuing to be in a denial mode.

“Pakistan has constantly been in a denial mode but the longer it continues to be so, the more harm it is going to invite for itself because the perpetrators of terrorism do not escape from it (terror) for long,” said Singh.

Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh, a former Indian Army chief, said there was palpable anger in the country and that proper action, as assured by the Prime Minister, would certainly be taken.

“Aaye din Pakistan ki taraf se kuchh na kuchh hota ja raha hai, PM ne jo kaha hai us par karyavahi zarur hogi (Pakistan has been doing irritating us too often. There would be action as assured by the Prime Minister),” Singh said.

However, he cautioned that whatever decisions/actions are taken, they should be taken with a cool mind and not on the spur of the moment.

“Bhavnatmak karyavahi nahi honi chahiye, bade thande dimag se ran niti ke sath karyavahi honi chahiye (Refrain from emotional action. It should be well thought out action with a cool mind),” Singh said.

Prime Minister Modi on Monday chaired a high-level meeting to review the situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the attack and sought clear evidence of Pakistan’s complicity to be presented at all major global fora, including the upcoming UN General Assembly.

The Congress said if he is a strong Prime Minister, he must show it now.

“Mr Prime Minister, are you not weak? If you are strong, the country needs proof of it,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari told the media here.

“If it is true that the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) is behind the attack, then it begs another question: Could Kandahar have been handled differently? Because it is after his release that Masood Azhar formed the JeM,” Tiwari said.

JeM founder Maulana Masood Azhar was released by India in return for the safety of around 200 passengers and crew of the Indian Airlines flight IC-814 hijacked by terrorists to Kandahar in Afghanistan in December 1999.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance was in power at the Centre then.

Tiwari also accused the Narendra Modi government of not having a clear policy towards Pakistan, and blowing hot and cold occasionally.

“The Modi government should ask itself two questions. One, what do you want to do with Pakistan; and secondly, what can you do with Pakistan?” Tiwari said.

–IANS

mak/tsb/vt

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