Speak to Pakistan from position of strength: Scindia to Govt

              Jyotiraditya Scindia recalled that the Joint Investigative Team from Pakistan told the government there that "a drama was staged" to malign Pakistan and the Indian authorities did not cooperate with the team.. Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia speaks in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi. PTI Photo / TV GRAB

Raising the Pathankot attack issue in the Lok Sabha, Opposition Congress on Thursday advised the government to negotiate with Pakistan from a position of “strength”.

“We must negotiate from a position of strength…. This government is negotiating from a position of weakness,” Congress chief whip Jyotiraditya Scindia said soon after the House met.

Scindia recalled that a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan, which included an ISI member, was in India between March 27 and April 1.

According to a Pakistani newspaper, Scindia said, the JIT submitted a report to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, which said that the attack was “…a drama staged to malign Pakistan. There was no evidence of attackers entering from Pakistan and Indian authorities did not cooperate with the Pakistani investigation.”

Scindia asked whether India had allowed the Pakistani team to come to get a reply like this.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who normally does not allow any other matter to be raised during Question Hour, made a departure by letting Scindia speak, but with a condition that this should not make it a precedent. As Scindia tried to speak for a little longer, Mahajan cut him short.

While the MP and his Congress colleagues protested aloud, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu pleaded with her not to let anything go on record.

The Speaker pointed out that Scindia’s microphone had been switched off the moment the House took up Question Hour. “That is why I never allow you,” she told Scindia, apparently disapproving of the uproar.

Pak JIT visit was based on principle of reciprocity: Govt

Pakistan has been clearly told that it should allow an Indian probe team to visit that country in connection with Pathankot terror attack as reciprocity was the principle on which Pakistan’s JIT was allowed to visit here, the government told Rajya Sabha Tuesday. Minister of State for External Affairs Gen V K Singh also insisted that the meeting between the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries here recently was “no formal talks”.

Singh’s response came after Opposition members attacked the government over its handling of Pathankot issue and questioned whether NIA will be allowed to visit Pakistan since its team already came here in connection with terror attack probe.

(With PTI inputs)

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