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Govt needs to reassess nature of engagement with Pak: Cong

Press Trust of India  |  Pathankot 

Congress leader Ashwani Kumar today said the Prime Minister and Central government will have to reassess the direction and nature of engagement with Pakistan in the light of ground realities after armed Pak terrorists struck at an Air Force base in a pre-dawn attack.

Kumar, who visited the post here amid anti-Pak protests, said the gaps, if any, in intelligence and security apparatus need to be filled as the attack could not be foiled despite reported information with agencies about it.

The former Union Minister also said Congress, which condemns the dastardly attack, stood united in fighting terror and fully backs the government and armed forces fighting against terrorism.

"Congress condemns this dastardly attack against the unity and integrity of India. This terror attack seems obviously sponsored by forces inimical to India across the border. There is a set pattern and design in these attacks.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Central government will have to reassess the direction and nature of the engagement with Pakistan in the light of the ground realities," he told PTI.

He lamented that this is the third such attack in the area bordering Pakistan in the last six months as similar attacks sponsored by forces across the border inimical to India have been launched earlier in Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir and in Dinanagar in Gurdaspur district of Punjab.

"Peace is the dividend of power and not of weaknesses," he said.

Concerned over the role of intelligence agencies, he said, "Sources say that the Intelligence Bureau had information 48 hours ago that there is a possibility of an attack.

"That is what we are told. Yet we could not foil this attack. Therefore, we need to fill-in, in case there are any gaps in the intelligence and security apparatus."

He lamented that this is third attack in six months and second in Punjab as it is directed towards important installations of defence and IAF.

Kumar lamented that the attacks, which have boosted the morale of terrorists, come within days of Prime Minister returning after a visit to Pakistan.

"The Prime Minister's visit was intended to advance a hand of friendship to Pakistan and in return what we see is another terrorist attack," he said.

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First Published: Sat, January 02 2016. 15:48 IST