Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday said the entire nation is with the security forces and all the political parties should set aside their differences and come together to fight and eliminate terrorism.
Mr Azad said, "Congress has always stood firm from the beginning that we are against terrorism and it has to be eliminated. When all of us are fighting against terrorism, everyone should forget their political differences and come together to fight against terrorism."
He emphasised that whatever decision or steps the armed forces take, Congress will always support it.
Underlining that terrorism has affected Jammu and Kashmir for the last 30 years, Mr Azad said, "Many people in our state have been affected by terrorism. This is a worrying and sad thing. We have been behind in terms of education and development."
"If terrorism comes to an end, the people of Jammu and Kashmir will be happy and youth, who have been the most affected due to terrorism, will attain education in the state. Tourism will also flourish once again and the economic situation will improve," he added.
Criticising the BJP-led government for carrying out their political activities despite the terror attack in Pulwama, the senior Congress leader asserted that while his party had cancelled all high-level meetings and functions in the wake of the attack, the BJP did not cancel any public meetings.
"When the Congress and the Opposition are respecting the martyrs (of Pulwama attack) and stand in solidarity with the security forces, the ruling party should not do politics in this situation. Our fight against terrorism should not be based on political interests," he said.
Recalling the February 26 all-party meet, chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister said that the Tuesday's airstrikes were neither against Pakistan nor its people, nor even against the country's military installations but against terror camps operating from Pakistan's soil.
"It was against the terror camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed (in Balakot). It is their (Pakistan's) responsibility to eliminate terrorism in their soil and ensure that this does not escalate into war. We are not in favour of war (with Pakistan) and talks are not possible (with Pakistan) in this situation," he said.
He also welcomed the safe return of IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman from Pakistan.
On Wednesday, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, while flying the MiG 21 Bison, was chasing Pakistani F-16 fighters, and in the process, his plane crossed over to Pakistani side and was shot down.
He ejected safely but was taken into custody by the Pakistan Army upon landing. Before his plane was shot, he had hit a Pakistani F-16.
Wearing a blue blazer and grey "khaki" trousers, he crossed over into India from Attari-Wagah border at 9:20 pm on Friday. He was handed over by the Pakistan Rangers to the Border Security Force (BSF) following paperwork.
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