Accusing the Modi government of playing into the hands of Pakistan, the Congress party on Friday strongly criticised the incumbent’s Pakistan policy. Opening an attack on the government a day after Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit indicated that it would not allow Indian investigators to visit Pakistan, the principal opposition party also accused the Centre of “messing up” while dealing with Pakistan on the Pathankot attack probe.
“I think the government has messed it up completely. There cannot be a bigger mess-up. Pakistanis are to blame…there is no doubt, but the Indian government, unfortunately, is playing into their hands,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.
Slamming further, the senior spokesperson claimed that BJP-led NDA government’s “legitimised” Pakistan by inviting its team to Pathankot as such an invitation had never been given in the last 70 years.
“Having legitimised them, we got a slap on our face by them going back, debunking us, decrying us, criticising us. We have equated terror perpetrators with victims,” Singhvi said adding, “It is adding insult to injury…They and not us are the ones who suspended the peace process after doing nothing about Pathankot.”
Just two days ago, former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh too had taken a critical view of Modi government’s Pakistan policy.
“The (Modi) government’s policy towards Pakistan is in shambles. Terrorists from Pakistan continue to operate freely not only in Jammu and Kashmir but also in Punjab and other neighbouring states,” Dr. Singh, who also represents Assam in Rajya Sabha, said in a poll rally on Wednesday.
“The recent attack on Pathankot airbase is the most recent evidence of our vulnerability.
“After the Pathankot terror attack, it was the Pakistan Prime Minister who said action is being taken and it is in that context that the JIT came here and now Indian team is supposed to go there on a reciprocal basis,” BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said.
Saying that world is concerned over terrorism, he added “India’s position has been acknowledged, recognised and even appreciated. The Pakistan Prime Minister has made a commitment”.
Dismissing the opposition charges further, Kohli said a lot has changed on the border and the army “does not need to take permission” to respond to the cross-border bombardment anymore.
Earlier on Thursday, other opposition parties too targeted the Central government over dealing with Pakistan.
Soon after Abdul Basit claimed that Indo-Pak peace process stands “suspended”, CPI said there is “no transparency” in the way Modi government deals with Pakistan as it takes neither people nor Parliament into confidence in matters relating Islamabad.
“Now they are saying India’s team will not be allowed to visit Pakistan. Both countries must have mutual trust, both countries should agree to continue the peace process,” CPI national secretary D Raja said.
Meanwhile, former CM of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah termed the development as a “body blow” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Pakistan policy.
“PM Modi’s Pakistan policy has been delivered a body blow today. Surprisingly the dialogue has been called off by Pakistan,” Omar wrote on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
(With inputs from the PTI)