New Delhi: Insisting that India does not harbour terrorists, Congress on Monday demanded that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar immediately withdraw his "terrible" statement suggesting that "terrorists have to be neutralised only through terrorists."
"A terrible statement by the Defence Minister. I hope he recognises the enormity of the statement he made and quickly finds a way to withdraw it", Chidambaram said at the AICC briefing.
Chidambaram was asked about his reaction to remarks by Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, that Parrikar's statement only confirmed Pakistan's apprehensions about India's alleged involvement in terrorism in Pakistan.
Making it clear that India does not encourage or harbour terrorists, Chidambaram said "India does not have terrorists among its agencies. And India cannot use terrorists to neutralise other terrorists."
"India has not deployed any terrorists or criminal elements in any part of Pakistan during the past 10 years of UPA government and I believe that NDA government also did not and will not do it... His statement is completely out of line and he should withdrawa it immediately", the senior Congress leader said.
Aziz was quoted as saying in a statement by the Pakistan Foreign Office on Saturday that Parrikar's statement " must be the first time that a Minister of an elected government openly advocates use of terrorism in another country on the pretext of preventing terrorism from that country or its non-state actors."
Asserting that terrorists have to be neutralised only through terrorists, Parrikar had said on Thursday last that India will take "pro-active" steps to prevent 26/11-type Mumbai terror attacks hatched from a foreign soil.
The Minister had used Hindi phrase "kante se kanta nikalna" (removing a thorn with a thorn) and wondered why Indian soldiers should be used to neutralise terrorists.