Prez, top leaders denounce attack

NEW DELHI, Sept 18:
President Pranab Mukherjee today condemned the “outrageous” terrorist attack on an Army base at Uri and said India would thwart the “evil designs” of terrorists and their backers.
“India will not be cowed down by such attacks, we will thwart the evil designs of terrorists and their backers,” the President said, without naming Pakistan.
Mukherjee, who is also the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces, strongly condemned the “outrageous terrorist attack on Army base in Uri”.
Paying rich tributes to brave soldiers who made supreme sacrifice, the President expressed heartfelt condolences to the families of those who laid down their lives in the terror strike.
He also prayed for speedy recovery of those injured.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who is leading an Indian Parliamentary delegation to New Zealand, stressed on the need for global efforts to tackle terrorism as she condoled the loss of lives in a terror attack on an Army base at Uri in Kashmir.
“I am extremely pained to learn that a number of precious lives of our soldiers were lost in this cowardly attack. It is high time that terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, is condemned by the international community and joint global efforts are made to wipe out this menace.
“Each one of us should come together against terror and promote the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” she said.
Virtually blaming Pakistan for the Uri terrorist attack, BJP President Amit Shah said India’s fight against terrorism has reached a decisive stage and the Modi Government is moving in the right direction to ensure that the sacrifices of soldiers does not go waste.
“Pakistan is trying to cause instability in India by constantly trying to lend support to terrorism and terrorist outfits. India has been constantly fighting against terrorism and this fight is now in a decisive stage,” he said in a statement.
Shah added, “The martyrdom of the brave sons of India would not be allowed to go waste and the Central Government is moving in the right direction.”
He made these remarks while expressing deep sorrow at the death of 17 soldiers in the attack. He paid his tributes to them and prayed for their souls to rest in peace.
Terrorists as well as their masters and supporters should be dealt with firmly and conclusively, RSS said as it condemned the terrorist attack on an Army base in Uri in Kashmir.
“Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh strongly condemns the dastardly terrorist attack on the Indian Army base at Uri. Our heartfelt condolences to the families of the martyred soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country.
“The terrorists, their masters and supporters should be dealt with firmly and conclusively,” said RSS General Secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi, who is the Hinduvta organisation’s second-in-command.
Security forces will work on their strategy to deal with ‘fidayeen attacks’ by terrorists which have emerged as a “major challenge”, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said here while citing the Pathankot attack in January and the Uri incident today.
“These are challenges to our security,” the Finance Minister said, condemning the terrorist attack on a camp at Army’s Brigade Headquarters in Uri town.
“.. Pathankot and Uri (terror attacks) appear to indicate that these (fidayeen attacks) have restarted again. And I think this is a major challenge which I am sure our security forces will gear up to respond,” Jaitley told reporters.
He said that in recent years there had been an increasing reliance “on activities like stone throwing agitations” which were instigated from across the border.
He said the terror attacks “have nothing to do with complexion of the governments in power at the Centre.”
Replying to a question, he said, “such (like Uri attack) security situations are handled by security forces… On the basis of political statements, response is not given”.
Asked about a recent statement of Pakistan Defence Minister that if the neighbouring country will need to use nuclear weapons for their survival they will, Jaitley said, “This is an irresponsible statement. Such statements are condemnable and the world also does not accept such threats.”
Terming the terrorist strike in Uri as a “deplorable affront” on national conscience, Congress president Sonia Gandhi hoped that the perpetrators of the attack will be brought to book.
She also expressed distress over the death of 17 soldiers in the attack.
“Congress president Sonia Gandhi has expressed shock and deep distress over the martyrdom of soldiers in the dastardly terrorist attack in Uri,” the party said in a statement.
Describing the cowardly terror attack as a deplorable affront on our national conscience, Gandhi expressed the hope that the perpetrators of this dastardly attack as also the forces behind them will be severely dealt with and brought to book.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi also condemned the attack. “Strongly condemn the militant attack on Army base in Uri. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the bravehearts martyred in the attack,” he said in a tweet.
The US strongly condemned the dastardly terror attack in Uri.
“We strongly condemn the terror attack in Uri, J&K. Our thoughts are with the families of the brave soldiers who lost their lives #UriAttack,” US Ambassador to India Richard Verma tweeted.
The UK stands “shoulder to shoulder” with India in the fight against terrorism and in bringing the perpetrators to justice, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said today.
Condemning the terror attack on an Indian Army camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri town that killed 17 soldiers, he said: “The UK strongly condemns this morning’s terrorist attack in Indian-administered Kashmir. I offer my deepest condolences to the victims and their families and friends.”
“The UK condemns all forms of terrorism, and stands shoulder to shoulder with India in the fight against terrorism, and in bringing the perpetrators to justice,” he said.
Talking tough, BJP leader Ram Madhav today asserted that days of strategic restraint are over and suggested that “for one tooth, the complete jaw” should be the policy after the Uri terror attack.
“The Prime Minister has promised that those behind the Uri terror attack will not go unpunished. That should be the way forward. For one tooth, the complete jaw,” said Madhav, who is BJP’s pointsman for Jammu and Kashmir.
“The days of so-called strategic restraint are over. If terrorism is the instrument of the weak and coward, restraint in the face of repeated terror attacks betrays inefficiency and incompetence. India should prove otherwise,” he said.
In Patna, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar strongly condemned the terror attack on an Army camp in Uri.
“The Chief Minister is deeply saddened by the martyrdom of 17 soldiers in a terror attack at headquarters of 12th Army Brigade near LoC in Uri sector in Jammu and Kashmir,” an official release said.
Condemning the attack, Kumar hailed the valour and dedication of the soldiers towards service to the nation by laying down their lives in the terror strike, the release said.
“The country will always remember the supreme sacrifice made by those soldiers attaining martyrdom in the Uri terror attack,” it said.
The CPI(M) Central Committee, now in session here, asked Pakistan to stop aiding and abetting extremist forces, while strongly condemning the attack.
Party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury told reporters that Pakistan must refrain from indulging in cross border terrorism and demanded that the matter “should be taken up seriously.”
In a statement, CPI(M) said Pakistan must stop aiding and abetting the extremist forces as such activities are a big impediment to the peace process in the region. It also charged the government with failing to stop continued infiltration of militants despite deploying a large number of security personnel across the state.
Pointing out that it has been consistently maintaining that terrorism is not the solution to the Kashmir issue, it said “the CPI(M) would like to reiterate that for a long- standing solution of the Kashmir problem, the political dialogue with all stakeholders as advocated by the all Party delegation should be initiated without any further delay.
Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters in Bengaluru: “It is absolutely condemnable … They can continuously keep threatening us with these activities, but India is strong enough to take care of its internal security and no such threat is going to deter us from restoring peace and normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.”
In a tweet, Textiles Minister Smriti Irani said “Pained by the mindless terror attack in Uri. I salute our brave soldiers for their supreme sacrifice & extend condolences to their families.”
In Ranchi, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das also condemned the terror strike and expressed deep grief at the loss of martrys.
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju offered “deepest condolences to families of #UriAttack martyrs who sacrificed their lives for motherland” and said “the perpetrators will be made to pay for it.”
Congress leader Manish Tewari said “the Indian government needs to rethink their strategy of isolating Pakistan. What happened in Uri is wrong and condemnable; Indian govt should sit back and think about various options being used.”
In a similar vein, his senior party colleague Ahmed Patel said “We condemn the brutal & cowardly attack on our Jawans in Uri. Our deepest condolences to their families. The Government must deal strongly with terrorist activities, and act fast to bring situation under control.”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also condemned the terror attack and said “India cannot be cowed down by such attacks”.
“I strongly condemn the cowardly attack at Uri in which 17 soldiers lost lives. My heartfelt condolences to the families of those martyred in Uri,” Kejriwal said.
Congress leader Jitendra Singh, a Minister of State for Home in the erstwhile UPA Government, attacked the NDA Government for “failing to tackle the situation in Kashmir”, saying this “has been the largest and the biggest attack since 2002.” (PTI)


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