Congress, BJP join hands to slam Pakistan

In a rare show of unity, the Congress and the BJP on Wednesday told Pakistan to “stay within its limits” and steer clear from interference in India’s electoral process.

The sharp retort to Islamabad by avowed political rivals came after Pakistan Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan’s remarks that BJP leader Narendra Modi as prime minister would “destabilise” the region.

“Pakistan should stay within its limits. We are capable of handling our internal affairs,” AICC general secretary Shakeel Ahmed said here when asked to comment on the Pakistani minister’s remarks.

“The people of our country are capable to decide whom to elect in the ongoing elections. We do not require any advice from any Pakistani minister or organisation,” he said.

The BJP, which has emerged favourites in the run-up to the elections, was angry at the remarks by the Pakistan minister. India has not interfered in the electoral politics or internal affairs of other countries and expects the same from them, BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said.

On polling day, the two key political parties appeared to compete with each other on taking a tough position against Pakistan.

While Lekhi asked Pakistan to “mend its ways”, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said Khan’s comments were “unfortunate and condemnable”.

“We will tell Islamabad to mend their ways, the manner in which they have been functioning and trying to work with India will not work,” Lekhi said.

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit indulged in some damage control saying Islamabad has an “interest” and would like to start the peace dialogue with the new government.

“Whoever forms the new government, we would definitely want to get along and solve the issues between the two nations,” a PTI report quoted Basit in Mumbai.

“You can vote for whomsoever you want. We want to start the peace dialogue with the new government as soon as possible,” he added.

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