Attack is a ‘setback’, but talks ‘are definitely on’
New Delhi : The terror attack in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district, very near to the border with Pakistan, follows the typical pattern of attacks from across the border to scuttle peace talks — this time, the planned National Security Advisor-level talks to discuss issues related to terrorism.
The terror attack in Gurdaspur was “no doubt a setback” to the India-Pakistan peace process, but the NSA talks — decided at the meeting in Ufa, Russia between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif — “are definitely on”, sources told IANS.
Monday’s terror attack was more reason for the two NSAs — India’s Ajit Doval and Pakistan’s Sartaj Aziz — to meet earlier, a source said.
“Both NSAs should meet earlier, but that does not mean such attacks are going to stop,” the source said.
The Gurdaspur attack, which ended on Monday evening after nearly 11 hours, follows the continuing pattern from across the border to scuttle any peace talks, the source added.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has in as many words pointed at Pakistan for the attack.
“I cannot understand why time and again cross-border terror incidents are taking place when we want good relations with our neighbour (Pakistan). I want to tell our neighbour that we want peace but not at the cost of our national pride,” he said at a CRPF function in Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh.
“I have said this earlier and I will say it again that while we will not be the first to attack or fire, if challenged, we will give a befitting reply,” he added.
Rajnath Singh will make a detailed statement in Parliament on Tuesday.
Strategic expert C. Uday Bhaskar said India should “not be impulsive” in calling off the NSA-level talks “even if all the conjecture points to cross border support” and the involvement of terror group like the Lashkar-e-Taiba.