Congress acting as external PR arm of Pakistan government: BJP

New Delhi: The BJP on Sunday accused the Congress of acting as an external public relations arm of the Pakistan government, saying it was speaking the language of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao, while attacking Congress leader P Chidambaram, said rather than targeting Pakistan for exporting terrorism to India and indulging in anti-India activities, “the Congress party is blaming the Indian government for taking multi-pronged punitive steps against Pakistan including some trade related initiatives”. “It seems that the Congress party is not happy that the military and non-military punitive steps initiated by the Indian government have silenced Pakistan and forced it to mend ways,” Rao said in a statement.

The Congress party, he alleged, “had lent perverse support to Pakistan time and again betraying Indian interests”. He claimed the Congress was acting as an external public relations arm of the Pakistan government and it was speaking the language of the Pakistani prime minister. Rao said the statements of several Congress leaders sound like music to a cornered Pakistan that has lost all credibility internationally.

“It is unfortunate and condemnable that there is a race among the Congress and other opposition leaders to make pro-Pakistan statements at a time when the whole country is rallying behind our government and security forces in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack and air strikes in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan,” he said.  The BJP Rajya Sabha MP cited Congress and other opposition leaders, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Kapil Sibal, P Chidambaram, Mamata Banerjee, Chandrababu Naidu, Arvind Kejriwal, Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, as being “the cheerleaders of Imran Khan”.

“They will be handed an exemplary punishment for betrayal by the Indian electorate in the ongoing elections,” it said. Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram Sunday said that in order to bring a change in Pakistan’s behaviour, India must also change its behaviour towards the neighbouring country. The former home minister also said that a way must be found to normalise India-Pakistan relations so as to answer the country’s “biggest external challenge” in terms of security and various other aspects.

“Whatever we do, we have to make Pakistan change its behaviour. That means we must also change our behaviour towards Pakistan. These attitudinal changes will happen over a period of time. But we must make an effort,” he said at a discussion titled — “Beyond Politics: Debating a new Security Manifesto”, organised by think-tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF) here.

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