Modi government’s silence on Poonch attack questioned by Congress

According to Pawan Khera, the head of the Congress media department, seven days have elapsed since the Poonch terrorist attack, and PM Narendra Modi has not expressed any condolences.

Pawan Khera Poonch attack
Pawan Khera posed a question to the government, asking why the Modi administration remains "silent" on the Poonch terrorist attack I File Photo

The Congress party on Thursday (April 27), criticised the Modi government for its “silence” on the Poonch attack and cited various recent terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir to accuse the government of jeopardizing national security.

Five Army personnel were killed and another was seriously injured on April 20 after their vehicle caught fire following a terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch.

Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here, Congress media department head Pawan Khera said seven days have passed, but Prime Minster Narendra Modi has “not uttered a single word” of condolence on the Poonch terror attack for the five Indian Army soldiers but was seen cracking a rather crude joke about a “suicide of a girl” at a media event on Thursday.

Also Read: Attack on army vehicle in Poonch: Massive search ops underway to trace terrorists

“PM Modi has not come out with any reaction condemning the terror attack, even as reports indicate a Taliban link in the same,” Khera said.

He said multiple media reports indicate that the highly penetrative and ricocheting steel core bullets used by terrorists was left behind by US troops in Afghanistan, after they departed the country in August 2021.

He claimed that the bullets were obtained by terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) from the Taliban.

“The Chinese made steel core bullets capable of piercing an armoured shield, were used by NATO forces during the Afghanistan war and these bullets are part of ammunitions NATO forces have abandoned after leaving Afghanistan,” Khera said.

“Interestingly, the latest report by US SIGAR (Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction), released on February 28, says, Taliban could sell a portion of the captured arms and equipment to augment its revenue flow. Alternatively, the Taliban may not have control over the entire Afghan National Security Forces (ANDSF) arsenal, which could mean that equipment could be acquired by smugglers or gun dealers and sold on the open market,” he said.

US made equipment in Afghan gun dealers’ hands

Khera also cited that the New York Times, to claim US-made equipment, including US-made pistols, rifles, grenades, binoculars, and night-vision goggles, has found its way into the hands of Afghan gun dealers.

“In this context, it is important to note that, belying India’s previous foreign policy stances, the Modi government has started engaging with the Taliban. In 2023 Budget, the Modi government announced a Rs 200 crore aid for Afghanistan,” he said.

He also listed the recent terror attacks in Poonch and Rajouri.

Khera asserted that the Congress stands united with the nation in fighting terrorism.

Also Read: 5 soldiers killed as terrorists attack Army vehicle in J&K’s Poonch

Posing questions to the government, the Congress leader asked why is the Modi government “silent” on the Poonch terror attack.

Is it not true that at least 18 previous major terror attacks have taken place on security installations that include CRPF camps, Army camps, Air Force station and military stations in which scores of our precious lives have been lost, he asked.

“Given that the Poonch attack has Taliban links, is it appropriate for Modi government to start its diplomatic outreach and engagement with Taliban?” Khera said.

Is it not true that Modi government has endangered national security, even as 1,249 terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, in which, 350 civilians and died and 569 jawans have been martyred, he asked.

(With agency inputs)