New Delhi: Major parties and leaders on Sunday strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Uri, with the Congress expressing hope that the perpetrators and "the forces behind them" will be severely dealt with.
"Congress President Sonia Gandhi has expressed shock and deep distress over the martyrdom of Indian soldiers in the dastardly terrorist attack in Uri," a party statement said.
Terming the "cowardly" terror attack as a "deplorable affront on our national conscience", Gandhi expressed hope that "the perpetrators of this dastardly attack as also the forces behind them will be severely dealt with and brought to book."
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also condemned the attack. "Strongly condemn the militant attack on Army base in Uri. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the bravehearts martyred in the attack," he said in a tweet.
The CPI(M) Central Committee, now in session here, asked Pakistan to stop aiding and abetting extremist forces, while strongly condemning the attack.
Party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury told reporters that Pakistan must refrain from indulging in cross border terrorism and demanded that the matter "should be taken up seriously."
In a statement, CPI(M) said Pakistan must stop aiding and abetting the extremist forces as such activities are a big impediment to the peace process in the region. It also charged the government with failing to stop continued infiltration of militants despite deploying a large number of security personnel across the state.
Pointing out that it has been consistently maintaining that terrorism is not the solution to the Kashmir issue, it said "the CPI(M) would like to reiterate that for a long- standing solution of the Kashmir problem, the political dialogue with all stakeholders as advocated by the all Party delegation should be initiated without any further delay.
Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters in Bengaluru: "It is absolutely condemnable ... They can continuously keep threatening us with these activities, but India is strong enough to take care of its internal security and no such threat is going to deter us from restoring peace and normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir."
In a tweet, Textiles Minister Smriti Irani said "Pained by the mindless terror attack in Uri. I salute our brave soldiers for their supreme sacrifice & extend condolences to their families."
In Ranchi, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das also condemned the terror strike and expressed deep grief at the loss of martrys.