CPI-M for diplomatic, political moves to defuse tension with Pakistan (Lead, Changing dateline)

Kolkata, Oct 1 (IANS) Claiming that the “pro-US tilt” in the Narendra Modi government’s foreign policy had made the country a target for terror groups opposed to Washington, the CPI-M on Saturday called upon the government to keep up the diplomatic and political efforts to defuse tension and eliminate the terrorism originating from Pakistan.

Exuding hope that there would not be any further escalation in the India-Pakistan tensions in the coming days, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) General secretary Sitaram Yechury also said the central government should initiate steps for the safety and security of the people from cross-border terrorism.

Referring to the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian army on terrorist hideouts across the Line of Control, Yechury hoped “incidents like what happened in Pathankot and the recent one at Uri will not recur.”

“We feel the government should ensure the safety and security of Indians from cross-border terrorism originating from Pakistan,” he told a media conference here.

“We hope henceforth there would be no further escalation of the conflict. We urge the government of India that it should continue with the diplomatic and political moves to defuse tension and eliminate the scourge of cross-border terrorism that is originating from Pakistan,” Yechury said.

India has claimed to have conducted deadly surgical strikes at terror launch pads in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on the intervening night of September 28 and 29,

Pakistan has denied the Indian claim of the surgical strike, terming it as a “hyped routine border clash”.

The rising rift has led to thousands of residents being relocated from around border villages in India amid fears of further military clashes between the two nuclear-powered nations.

To a query on what has prompted the CPI-M to favour talks with Pakistan despite the failure of such initiatives in the past, Yechury said India-Pakistan talks was the government’s declared agenda.

Referring to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with then US President George Bush, the CPI-M chief said the American leader had then described India s a country with a vast Muslim population “where not even a single one of them was a Taliban”.

“Can you say the same today? We have seen reports of Al Qaeda and IS recruiting from India. The more you get closer to the US, the more you become vulnerable to the anti-US terror groups.”

He also opposed Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s diktat post the Uri attack to the Pakistani artistes to leave India, saying arts and culture should not be mixed with politics.