Voicing serious concern over the terror attack on an Air Force Base in Pathankot, Congress today questioned Modi government's handling of Pakistan affairs while reminding the Prime Minister of his promise to assertively handle ties with the neighbouring country.
"It's indeed a very serious matter as seven days after Prime Minister Modi visited Pakistan to meet his counterpart Nawaz Sharif, a terrorist module comes from Pakistan and attacks in Punjab and attacks our frontline security installation. Two things are very clear. First despite Prime Minister's visit to Pakistan, ISI continues to sustain and support terror activities against India.
"The current module appears to have come from Pakistan in the same fashion. Secondly the terror camps that are run by terrorists for carrying on anti- India activity in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir continues to be supported by Pakistani establishments. It raises security concerns for Punjab as the state is witnessing a sudden surge in such activities after being peaceful for the last 20 years," AICC Communication department chief Randeep Surjewala told reporters.
He said that the attack on the first day of the New Year in Pathankot is a matter of serious concern and the Opposition party expresses its deep concerns on this evolving situation of the internal security in the country. The BJP government should utilize the services of security experts and if necessary leaders of the Congress Party in engagement and finding lasting solution to blocking terror activity which is coming into India via Pakistan," he said.
Recalling that Punjab has seen no terrorist activity for last 20 years, Mr Surjewala said, "two terrorist attacks have occurred in last 5 months, 3 terrorist attacks have been made in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab in last 5 months by terrorists who have came from Pakistan. Suspected Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists from Pakistan today struck at an Air Force base in Pathankot in Punjab, killing three security personnel while four of the attackers were killed in an operation that lasted more than five hours.
The attack comes just a week after the Prime Minister made an unscheduled visit to Lahore, touching down in Pakistan for the first time on Christmas to greet Mr Sharif on his birthday and for his granddaughter's wedding. Terming the recent attack a "very serious matter", the Congress leader urged the Prime Minister to take stock of the internal security situation.
"Will Prime Minister take up the issue with Pakistan, now that he has recently visited the country. How does the government propose to control and check the terror coming from Pakistan. These are important issues that the PM needs to address. Why is Punjab suddenly becoming a hotbed of such activities," Mr Surjewala said.
"It is PM Modi who used to say he will show red eyes to Pakistan and then talk to them. We don't want him to show red eyes but we want him to take firm action to protect the life of citizens of this country and to ensure that our valiant security forces and our army do not lay their lives at the hands of Pakistani terror module which is continued to be exported," he said.
Mr Surjewala also said that the country's intelligence agency continues to issue generalized terror threats without giving any specifics resulting in attacks where the local police and security agencies are caught unawares. "We also want the Prime Minister to ensure that the situation on the border of J&K where there have been 900 ceasefire violations by Pakistan in less than 19 months is checked and a final solution is found there too," the Congress spokesperson said.
He said the entire nation stands united to fight terror. "Entire country stands united together to fight terrorism. There can be no two opinion on fighting terror among the 125 crore people of India. "We all stand behind with our security forces in this resolve," he said.