A day after silence, PM to meet BJP

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New Delhi: A day after the BJP and Opposition launched a scathing attack on Defence minister A.K. Antony’s weak statement on killing of five Indian soldiers in Poonch, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would meet top BJP leaders this evening.
The PM has chosen to step in after Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi hauled Pakistan for its dastardly attack, signalling a divide between the party and the government.
The Prime Minister would brief L K Advani, Opposition leaders in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha – Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley – and Rajnath Singh.
The BJP continued its attack on the Centre’s response to the Pakistani attack that claimed five Indian soldiers. Narendra Modi in his reaction said: “Pakistan beheads Indian soldiers and India bows its head.”
Meanwhile, reports indicated that Army chief General Bikram Singh would visit the area where the killing took place.
Antony’s statement sparked of a controversy because he described the intruders as “terrorists along with persons dressed in Pakistan Army uniform” while an Army spokesman said “soldiers from Pak Army” were involved.
Making a suo motu statement in both the Houses of Parliament, Antony said an Indian Army patrol, comprising one Non-Commissioned Officer and five other ranks, was “ambushed on our side” of the LoC in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir. “The ambush was carried out by approximately 20 heavily-armed terrorists along with persons dressed in Pakistan army uniform,” he said.
Also read: One attack, 5 jawans killed and 2 versions from India
Antony’s remarks about involvement of terrorists in the attack triggered angry reactions in Parliament by opposition parties, which said it amounted to giving an “escape route” to Pakistan which already claims that its army is not involved. Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley termed Antony’s statement as “ambiguous” and took a dig, saying that he hoped it was a “typographical error”.

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