BJP fires at Cong on PC's India's Pak policy critique

A day after former Union minister P Chidambaram suggested that India should change its behaviour in order to bring a change in Pakistan's behaviour, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday targetted the Congress, asking if the grand old party wants India to stop taking action against terrorism and compromise on its territory.

Addressing a press conference here at the BJP headquarters, she also lashed out at Chidambaram, dubbing the senior Congress leader's suggestion as “astonishing.”

Days after the Congress came up with its poll manifesto promising “to dilute” the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and “remove” the sedition law, Chidambaram's statement on India's policy on Pakistan has “further worsened the position” of the grand-old-party, she added.

“What changes in the behaviour of India they want? Do they want us to stop taking action against terrorism, compromise on our territory, state that J&K is a disputed territory, start negotiations even as the terror continues? Do they want us to go against our stated position and resolutions (passed) in Parliament? Congress must clarify,” Sitharaman said.

Chidambaram's remarks were made during his speech at an event organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), a think tank, to discuss the Congress' national security strategy prepared by Lt Gen D S Hooda, one of the architects behind India's successful surgical strike in 2016.

“If the two countries continue to demonise each other, they can never be friends. How is your (Jammu and Kashmir) policy a success if in 2018 there has been the highest number of killings of both military personnel and civilians. More questions are needed to be asked to change the policy,” he also said, tearing into Prime Minister Narendra Modi's hyperbole on national security.

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