All-party meet over Pulwama terror attack underway, government briefs opposition

All-party meet over Pulwama terror attack underway, government briefs opposition

The all-party meeting called by the Narendra Modi government over Pulwama terror attack is underway in New Delhi. The government is expected to brief the political parties on the terror attack that killed at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force jawans in South Kashmir on Thursday, when a convoy of security forces was targeted by terrorists.

The all-party meeting began shortly after 11 am started at Parliament Library. Those who came to the all-party meet include Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and Jyotiraditya Scindia, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, LJP chief and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Trinamool Congress leaders Sudip Bandopadhya and Derek O’brion, CPI leader D Raja, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Rout, RJD leader Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav, TRS leader Jitendra Reddy, RLSP leader Upendra Kushwaha and AIADMK leader N Krishnan.

The decision to hold an all-party meet was announced by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley after he emerged from a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Friday morning. Jaitley announced that the all-party meet would be called soon after Rajnath Singh’s return from Kashmir.

Rajnath Singh, who visited Srinagar after attending the CCS meet at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence in New Delhi, is expected to brief the all-party leaders about the Pulwama terror attack and the emergent security situation in the Kashmir Valley.

During his visit to Srinagar, Singh held a high-level meeting with the top officials of the Army, CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir Police to assess the security situation in the Valley. The government has vowed to give “befitting reply” to those behind this terror attack.

The Central Reserve Police Force lost at least 38 jawans, who were part of more than 2,500 troops travelling from Jammu to Srinagar when the convoy of 78 vehicles was targeted by a suspected suicide bomber. An explosive-laden SUV rammed one of the buses carrying the CRPF jawans reducing it to a heap of mangled iron.

PM Modi, speaking at a public event in New Delhi, said the terrorists and their supporters responsible for Pulwama attack “will be definitely punished”. The government on Friday moved swiftly to isolate Pakistan with its outreach to more than 15 influential nations including the P5- the US, the UK, France, Russia and China.

The main opposition party, the Congress has extended its “full support” to the government and security forces. Party president Rahul Gandhi said, the Congress is with the security forces and the government. “We are not going to be divided,” Gandhi said at a press conference in New Delhi.

Other parties also extended their support to the security forces and the government. BJP ally Shiv Sena, which welcomed an all-party meet, called for a special joint session of Parliament to discuss the Pulwama terror attack.

The government had called an all-party meet in 2016, when the special forces of Indian Army carried out surgical strike in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to demolish terror launch pads in the aftermath of the Uri attack. The government had briefed the all-party leaders about the surgical strike.

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