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Terrorists will respond violently to violence: Aiyar on Paris attack

New Delhi: Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar Thursday condemned the terror attack in Paris that left 12 people dead but said that terrorists had hit back as they were “upset” about the war on terror.

Aiyar told IANS that terrorists will retaliate if there is violence in war on terrorism and that the western countries will face a “backlash”.

“If you unleash a war, the other side is not just going to sit back and take it. There is bound to be a backlash,” he said.

Asked if Paris attack was such a backlash, Aiyar said there are terrorists who were upset about the war on terror and “they have hit back”.

“I severely condemn the attack. My heart goes out to those who have been killed. This kind of violence has no place in civilised life but all violence begets violence,” said Aiyar, a nominated member of Rajya Sabha.

“If you unleash a war on terror, you cannot expect the terrorist to just take it and not hit back. And the terrorist is hitting back,” he said.

On if the western countries will face consequences, Aiyar said: “I am not suggesting that they should face consequences, I am saying they will face consequences.”

Agreeing the Paris attack was an attack on the freedom of expression, he however said: “But when drones go and kill people sleeping in their beds and they are not allowed to express themselves again ever because they are dead, is it not an attack on their right to freedom of expression.”

Aiyar said he opposed to all forms of violence but his “sole point” was that if violent means are used in war on terrorism, it is only to be expected that terrorist will retort the same way.

Asked about the way to deal with terrorism, he said there should a combination of restraint, understanding and action.

Two masked gunmen Wednesday burst into the Charlie Hebdo magazine’s office in Paris and killed, among others, a cartoonist whose Prophet Mohammed caricature ignited a row.