"India Should Respect Pak As...": Mani Shankar Aiyar's Old Video Hands BJP New Ammo

"India should talk to Pakistan. But instead, we are flexing our military might. And this is just increasing the tensions," Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said.

New Delhi:

Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar has come under fire after an old interview of his went viral where he said that India should engage in dialogue with Pakistan or the country could end up paying a heavy price. Mr Aiyar said that Pakistan has nuclear bombs which they could drop on India if our governments irked them.

In an interview that has gone viral now, Mr Aiyar says, "India should give respect to Pakistan as it has an atom bomb! If we don't give them respect, they'll think of using an atom bomb against India."

"You should talk to them. But instead, we are flexing our military might. And this is just increasing the tensions. And they have atom bombs. What happens if a 'madman' decided to launch bombs (at India)," he said.  

"We have them too, but if a 'madman' decides to drop a bomb on Lahore, it won't take 8 seconds for the radiation to reach Amritsar," he added.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has attacked Mr Aiyar for his remarks saying that this reflects the Congress's "ideology" for India.

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar, sharing the video on X, said "Rahul's Cong "idealogy" is fully visible in these elections. Support to and from Pakistan including offrng to give up Siachen. Dividing people, Lies, Abuse and fake guarantees to mislead poor and vulnerable (sic)."

BJP leader and Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan also took a jibe at Mr Aiyar, saying that the Congress leader should get treated somewhere as Pakistan is currently struggling for food.

"At this time Pakistan is collecting foodgrains for itself. They are facing a food crisis...Mani Shankar Aiyar should get himself treated somewhere. This is not the India of Congress. Now, India is very powerful. This is the India of PM Modi," Mr Kishan said.

The Congress leader's remarks have gone viral days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several other top BJP leaders warned that Indian forces would enter Pakistan to kill any terrorist who escapes.

"During the Congress regime, the news headlines were about India handing over another dossier to Pakistan about terror activities. It used to be big news. Today, India doesn't send dossiers. Aaj Bharat ghar mein ghus ke marta hai (Today, India eliminates terrorists on their home turf)," PM Modi said at an election rally in Maharashtra's Latur.

The Congress has disassociated itself with Mr Aiyar's remarks and also stated that the interview is old.

"Firstly, it's a very very old video; secondly, what has Mani Shankar Aiyar got to do with the Congress and its leadership. There was a time when he was a minister, an important person in the Congress, but not anymore. He can make whatever statement he wishes to, but when he says something, how can you construe it to be a statement of Indian National Congress," Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit told PTI.