Reacting to Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit's statement that the India-Pakistan Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue has been suspended for the time being, the Congress trained their guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and alleged that the PM had embarrassed the nation.
Congress Deputy Leader in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma told ANI: "By permitting a JIT to visit India we have taken a wrong decision, instead an NIA team should have visited Pakistan and had probed the role of Maulana Masood Azhar".
"Pakistan has tried to give an impression and even in today's statement, that it is India which is a victim of targeted terrorism, which is fermenting trouble. There can't be anything more serious to be termed as a setback".
"The high commissioners don't decide for the governments, he has only articulated what the view of the Pakistani establishment collectively has been," he said.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said, "It is extremely unfortunate that Pakistan has decided to take this position. But more fundamental questions is: Are we ourselves to be blamed for Pakistan's belligerence? There is a need to get off the high horse of the jingoism and for this government to really introspect and retrospect about their Pakistan policy over past 22 months," Tewari told ANI.
"Unfortunately the policy of the BJP government has been a story of flip flops and U-turns which has allowed the Pakistan deep state and the terror groups orchestra to run circles around India," he said, adding that PM Modi needs to understand that the Pakistani deep state doesn't want peace with India, hence the dialogue with India has to be held in a calibrated manner.
Pakistani envoy Basit said that the dialogue with India is suspended, while hinting that the National Investigative Agency (NIA) will not be given access to JeM chief Masood Azhar for the probe into the Pathankot attack. "I would say the dialogue is suspended," Basit said during an interaction at the Foreign Correspondents club while responding to a question on the status of the comprehensive bilateral dialogue announced by foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan's foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz last December.
The MEA has countered the Pakistan high commissioner's assertion that the visit by Pakistani JIT was not on reciprocity, saying that both sides had agreed that it would be on the basis of reciprocity before the team's visit to Pathankot.
External affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said, "We have seen comments by the Pakistani high commissioner on the visit of the JIT Team to investigate the terrorist attack on the Pathankot Air Base that have reference to reciprocity. MEA would like to clarify that on 26 March, 2016, before the visit of the JIT, the Indian high commission formally conveyed to the Pakistani foreign ministry that the Terms of Reference 'are broadly agreed to with the proviso that these would be on the basis of reciprocity and followed in accordance with extant legal provisions. Subsequently, the JIT visited from 27 March to 1 April, 2016".