The all-party meeting called by the Narendra Modi-led government on Saturday, to deliberate upon the situations arising out of the Pulwama terror attack, saw political differences being laid to rest as parties unanimously passed a resolution to stand with the security forces.
All participants at the meeting condemned terrorism in all forms and recognised that Pakistan had a role to play in perpetuating and supporting such situations of terror, reported News18. After the meeting, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that Rajnath had been asked by the attendees to convey to Modi that he should call a meeting of the presidents of all parties.
"We have communicated to the government what Congress chief Rahul Gandhi told at a press conference on Friday, that the country is in mourning now and is angry. Since 1947, apart from a war, this is the first time a terror attack has claimed so many lives. We have differences with the government on a number of issues but at this juncture we are standing with the government for ending terrorism. Militancy has to end," he said.
The meeting was attended by Azad, Anand Sharma and Jyotiraditya Scindia of the Congress, Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Derek O'Brien of the Trinamool Congress, Sanjay Raut of the Shiv Sena, Jithendra Reddy of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, D Raja of the CPI, Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference, Ram Vilas Paswan of the Lok Janshakti Party, Naresh Gujral of the Akali Dal, Upendra Kushwaha of the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party and Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav, among others, reported News18.
Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba had briefed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who has returned from his trip to Jammu and Kashmir to convene the meet, before it started.
Significantly, Modi himself was absent from the meeting and was at Yavatmal in Maharashtra, where he inaugurated a number of infrastructural projects. Addressing the crowds there, he made mention of the two jawans from Maharashtra who died in the attack. "The martyrs' sacrifice will not be for nothing. The sin of terrorism cannot be hidden, they will be punished," he said.
The all-party meeting was the first-of-its-kind organised by the ruling National Democratic Alliance government and is a significant event considering sharpened differences between parties ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. In the days following the terror attack there has been very little bickering along political lines, with most politicians putting up a unique show of togetherness. Congress president Rahul Gandhi said he and his party would support the government and firmly shut down questions on political controversies, saying it was not the time or place, reported News18.
The government is understood to have briefed Opposition leaders about the action being taken in the aftermath of the attack, in the course of the meeting.
One of the key issues that were reported to have been discussed in the meeting was the security cover of Hurriyet leaders and whether India would continue providing that.
Another issue was the international isolation of Pakistan and the diplomatic steps that need to be taken to make sure that the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the United Nations — something which has been pending for over three decades, — is now adopted at the earliest.
China, a veto-wielding member of the Security Council and a close ally of Pakistan, has repeatedly foiled India's bid to blacklist Jaish-e-Mohammad founder Maulana Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, citing that he is not a terrorist as per the global guidelines. The USA has supported India in its push for blacklisting Azhar. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced the meeting after the meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Friday.
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Updated Date: Feb 16, 2019 13:44:11 IST