Congress Attacks Centre On Permitting Pakistan Probe Team To Visit Pathankot

New Delhi: Congress today attacked the government on allowing Pakistani probe team to visit Pathankot air base and the decision to allow 100 per cent FDI in E-commerce while remaining non-committal on support to the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Party’s senior spokesman Anand Sharma told reporters that the Pakistani Joint Investigative Team (JIT) was allowed in India in order to “cover up” the “failure” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Pakistan policy.

“Prime Minister lacks vision or roadmap to engage with Pakistan and he has tried to mask every diplomatic failure by claiming success and having reached an understanding and also sincere assurance by Pakistan.”

He claimed that till today the Prime Minister has not termed the terror strike at the strategic Pathankot air base as an “attack on India”.

This, he suggested, was strange in the light of the fact that PM Modi had dubbed the 2008 Mumbai terror incidents as an attack on India.

Besides, Mr Sharma contended that since the conspiracy was hatched at Bahwalpur in Pakistan, it would have been in fitness of things that Indian investigators should have gone to the neighbouring country.

He said India should have persuaded Pakistan to allow interrogation by Indian officers of Maulana Masood Azhar of the JeM, who is the mastermind behind the Pathankot terror strike.

Mr Sharma was also critical of the BJP chief Amit Shah for praising PM Modi on the JIT issue and said that in the coming session of Parliament, opposition would raise questions on the whole matter and will not allow the Prime Minister to maintain silence as usual.

“The JIT team’s visit to and the certificate of commendation or sincerity and seriousness of effort given by BJP President speaks volumes of his lack of understanding of the complexity of Indo-Pak relations and the seriousness of the issue,” he remarked.

Coming down hard on BJP and the government over “open threats” to topple party governments in the backdrop of Uttarakhand developments, Mr Sharma said there cannot be any cooperation possible with the government as it has continued unabated its “politics of confrontation” with the opposition.

“There is a world of difference between Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s precept and practice. He talks of cooperative federalism, but does exactly the opposite. In such a situation, any sort of cooperation is not possible,” Mr Sharma said.

Asked whether his statements meant that there cannot be any cooperation on the key reform measure GST which government planned to bring in the next session, Mr Sharma merely said “it will be issue based, considering the merits”.

Former Union minister Jairam Ramesh had earlier stated that “BJP should not expect any help when they are murdering democracy in Arunachal Pradesh, followed by Uttarakhand. The NDA government has vitiated the atmosphere in Parliament”.

Mr Sharma deprecated the decision to allow 100 per cent FDI in the market place format of e-commerce retailing, saying it would play havoc with five crore retailers in the country already facing the brunt of economic slowdown.

He said that the decision by the Modi dispensation would “harm” the interests of the country and especially hit small businessmen.