Pathankot attack: Ministers desist from making anti-Pakistan remarks

New Delhi: The terror attack at Pathankot air base, occurring within days of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goodwill visit to Lahore, may have raised many eyebrows but senior government functionaries avoided making direct anti-Pakistan comments.

Despite criticism from some Congress leaders of the government’s policy towards Pakistan, Home Minister Rajnath Singh only said the government wants peace and good relations with all its neighbours, including Pakistan but would not shy of giving a befitting reply.

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“Let them (opposition) say whatever they like, but our policy is clear. We want peace. But we would not tolerate any terrorist activity on our soil and would give a befitting response,” Singh said.

Some unidentified terrorists attacked the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Punjab’s Pathankot town early Saturday, leaving two IAF personnel killed.

Union minister of state for environment, forest and climate change, Prakash Javadekar while supporting Rajnath Singh’s stance of giving a “befitting reply” to terror” did not rule out talks with Pakistan in future.

“As far as Pakistan is concerned, it is our neighbour. Talks will take place keeping terror as the key issue,” he said, adding that “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a beginning, now it is Pakistan’s turn to reciprocate.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan condemned the Pathankot attack in Punjab.

In a statement, Pakistan’s foreign office extended heartfelt condolences to the Indian government, people of India and the bereaved families. It also wished the injured people speedy recovery, Radio Pakistan reported.

Building on the goodwill created during the recent high level contacts between the two countries, Pakistan remains committed to partner with India to completely eradicate the menace of terrorism afflicting South Asian region, the statement added.