Patna: Nitish Kumar on Monday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has his “full support in each and every step taken against Pakistan”, but that last month’s surgical strikes must be exempt from political opportunism.
“Take whatever actions required against Pakistan. Stop writing love letters (to Islamabad), we as a nation are behind you,” the Bihar Chief Minister said at a speech in Rajgir, about 120 kms from Patna, suggesting that the PM, who is leading a campaign to globally isolate Pakistan, should get tougher. The comment was also a recrimination for Mr Modi’s earlier outreach to Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif which included a surprise visit to wish him for his birthday.
Mr Kumar stressed, “Please remember you are the Prime Minister and act as the leader of the nation, not just the BJP,” suggesting that has not been the case with recent hoardings that lauded the courage of PM Modi, rather than the military, for the action against Pakistan.
On September 29, soldiers crossed the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir to act against seven staging points for terrorists who, the army said, were to enter India and attack major cities.
The opposition Congress and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal have said the government should share evidence of the surgical strikes to rebut Pakistan’s claim of the action being “fabricated” by India. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has accused PM Modi of political profiteering by grabbing credit from the army.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has repeatedly praised the PM and the government’s “guts” in authorizing the action. And BJP chief Amit Shah has said the cross-border raids will feature in the party’s campaign for the Uttar Pradesh election.
The raids across the Line of Control are seen as direct military response to the deadly attack weeks earlier on an army camp in Uri in Kashmir, in which 19 soldiers were killed by four Pakistani terrorists.
In recent speeches, the PM has, without naming Pakistan, called for it to be held accountable for allowing terror attacks in other countries. Yesterday, at the Goa summit of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), Mr Modi tagged Pakistan as “the mothership of terrorism.”