In an effort to build consensus on India’s response to Pakistan on the recent provocation along the LoC, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon today met BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj and briefed them on the situation.
The meeting came after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last night spoke to the Leaders of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, respectively assuring them that the Opposition would be kept in loop over the situation.
Upping the ante on the incident, Swaraj had yesterday said that “If Pakistan does not return the head of martyred soldier Hemraj, India should get at least ten heads from the other side.’’
The NSA briefed Swaraj and Jaitley over the entire gamut of developments along the LoC where tension prevails after two Indian soldiers were killed in an attack by Pakistani soldiers on January 8.
Sources said Singh had yesterday told Jaitley, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, and Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, that nothing is being done which could not be communicated to the Opposition leaders.
He said the Opposition would be kept in loop over the situation and appealed to them that the issue should not be politicised.
The Prime Minister had reached out to the Opposition leaders on a day when Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh talked tough and warned Pakistan that India reserves the right to retaliate at the “time and place” of its choosing. The Army chief termed as “most unpardonable” and “unacceptable” the beheading of Hemraj.
The Government had earlier today cautioned against “jingoism” with Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari maintaining “professional Armies respect rules of engagement. Transgressions are surmounted through tactical responses and not driven by jingoism’’.
In an apparent disapproval of BJP upping the ante on the issue, Tewari also said: “the mapping of those tactical responses is best left to professionals. It is advisable that jingoism needs to be avoided”.