New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) The Congress on Tuesday sought to know from Prime Minister Narendra Modi what assurances were given to him by Pakistan that paved the way for a comprehensive dialogue with that neighbour.
The party’s remark came after Saturday’s pre-dawn terrorist attack at the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot in Punjab, in which seven security personnel and six terrorists suspected to be Pakistanis were killed.
“In August, the National Security Advisor (NSA)-level talks were cancelled. After that, the NSAs (of India and Pakistan) met in Bangkok. We want to know what was discussed in the meeting and what agreement was made between the two countries with regard to responding to such attacks,” said Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma.
“What assurances were made to the prime minister by Pakistan that he made a sudden and surprise visit to Lahore. We need to know whether the entire establishment of Pakistan – the army and the ISI – approved of this visit or not,” he added.
Sharma said that when Modi landed in Lahore on December 25, the NSA of Pakistan, Naseer Khan Janjua, was not present. “Shouldn’t we get a message from it that the entire establishment of Pakistan is not in support of rapprochement between two countries?”
Post Mumbai terror attack, he said a dialogue should begin only after Pakistan keeps its promises.
“But they couldn’t keep their promises. The first assurance was that the handlers of Mumbai attack would be tried and punished and only after that a comprehensive dialogue with Pakistan should start,” he added.
He urged Modi to take the nation into confidence and “consult the leadership of the principal opposition parties on these matters”.
The Congress also termed as the offensive the terrorist attack on the country.
“Pathankot attack is not only a terror attack or an attack on humanity. It is an attack on India. It is an attack on the nation. We sense it as a conspiracy theory because along with Pathankot, the Indian consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, was also attacked,” said Sharma.
“Seventeen days after the Ufa agremment between Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, there was an attack in Gurdaspur (Punjab), breaching the international border. This (Pathankot) attack is also similar to that. Therefore, it should be termed as an attack on India,” he said.