The Congress on Sunday nuanced its position on talks with Pakistan, saying engagement with the neighouring country need not be disrupted despite the “grave provocation” of the Pathankot attack.
In the immediate aftermath of the Pathankot attack, the party had taken a slightly tougher approach. On January 4, Ajay Maken said, “We have always been saying that talks and terror can’t go side by side. So, the government has to come out openly and clearly tell us about the facts, which led to the terror attack.”
The next day, senior leader Anand Sharma, when asked whether the environment was not conducive to hold talks, said: “For the moment, the environment is not conducive, but we have always maintained that the two countries have to address all issues for a better understanding and better environment to be created only through talks.” He had, however, left the decision to the government.
On January 7, Kapil Sibal said the Congress believes there should be talks with Pakistan, “but not under threat”.
On Sunday, party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said it was up to the government to decide what the level, nature and intensity of the engagement should be. “We have said that despite this grave provocation, engagement with Pakistan need not be disrupted,” he said.