The killing of five soldiers on the Line of Control led to outrage in Parliament with parties demanding a “befitting reply” to Pakistan and slamming the government for saying the act was carried out by “terrorists along with persons dressed in Pakistan Army uniform”.
Most parties, including the BJP, SP, Left, JD(U), AGP and Shiv Sena said the contention that the attack was carried out by terrorists amounted to providing an escape route to Pakistan which has said that its army was not involved.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi called the killings a “blatant act of deceit”, and asked the government to “take up appropriate measures”. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi too asked the government to take “steps”, but neither leader elaborated on what these could be.
Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley described Defence Minister A K Antony’s statement as “ambiguous” and mockingly said he hoped it was a “typographical error”.
“You are almost providing in this sentence an opportunity to Pakistan to say that they were non-state actors... It provides an escape route to Pakistan,” Jaitley said. He expressed a “deep sense of sadness and anguish”, and said, “there is need to modulate our foreign policy to send a message to Pakistan that these kinds of attacks will not be tolerated. India must not take this lying down. It is time for a befitting reply.”
BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh must not talk with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif when they would be in the US together next month.
“There should be no talks with Pakistan until they keep the assurance given to Atal Bihari Vajpayee on January 6, 2004. There should be no talks at any level, especially at the level of the Prime Minister,” Sinha said.
“We have been confused about talks and war. There is a huge space between talks and war,” he said.