Bangalore: Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on Thursday hit back at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for politicising the killing of Indian soldiers along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, and said there is a need to be united in dealing with the external challenges posing a threat to national security.
“It is very unfortunate that issue of national security is being politicised. Mr AK Antony is a very senior, experienced political leader. And the totally condemnable act committed has to be met strongly by the Government of India, but let this be decided what actions to be taken has to be taken after due consideration at the highest level,” Singh told media here.
“So, let us not force the hand of the government because if you see history of post-independent India in every national crisis, particularly when the national security was at stake all political parties got together to fight this external threat. So therefore, I would urge upon the BJP not to politicise this, but unitedly we should face this external challenge without politicising the issue,” he added.
Defence Minister AK Antony told the Lok Sabha earlier in the day that the specialist troops of the Pakistan Army and a group from the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir side, which crossed the Line of Control, had killed the Indian soldiers on Tuesday.
Antony, who made a fresh statement in the Lok Sabha shortly after noon, said nothing happens from Pakistan side of the Line of Control without support, assistance, facilitation and direct involvement of the Pakistan Army.
He said those in Pakistan who are responsible for the tragedy and brutal killing of two Indian soldiers earlier this year should not go unpunished.
Antony said Islamabad should also show determined action to dismantle the terrorist networks, organisation and infrastructure.
The Defence Minister underlined that Tuesday’s incident will have consequences on New Delhi’s behaviour on the Line of Control and its relations with Islamabad.
“India’s restraint should not be taken for granted, nor should the capacity of the Indian Armed Forces and the government’s resolve to uphold the sanctity of the Line of Control ever be doubted,” he said.
The Defence Minister said that his earlier statement to both Houses of Parliament were made on the basis of facts available to him then, and that now, he was making a fresh and amended statement based on the feedback provided to him by General Bikram Singh after the latter`s visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.
Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj hailed the statement and said the whole house fully supports the government. She said that now it is clear that her party was not politicising the issue.
The BJP had earlier demanded first an apology and then a revised statement from Antony, who on Wednesday, stopped short of blaming the Pakistani army and attributed the assault to ‘men in Pakistani army uniforms’. He was contradicted by his own ministry, which issued a strongly-worded statement directly accusing Pakistani soldiers of taking part in the ambush.