AMRITSAR: Condemning the "cowardly" Pulwama terror attack in which at least 40 CRPF men died, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday accused Pakistan of unleashing a proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir. "We express our grief with the families of the CRPF jawans who were martyred following the dastardly and cowardice act of terror in Pulwama yesterday," Puri said here.
Orchestrated by Pakistan based terror group Jaish e Mohammad (JeM), Thursday's attack in which a suicide bomber rammed his vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into a CRPF bus in south Kashmir was one of the deadliest in the Valley.
Addressing a press conference here, Puri said Pakistan was unleashing a proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir and alleged that the country had not taken concrete steps to stop terror attacks on India.
On the Kartarpur corridor issue, Puri said the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre was committed towards letting devotees to pay obeisance at the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan. However, he warned, "On one hand, Pakistan responded to (setting up) the corridor but on the other hand, it is supporting terror groups on its soil against India. How long will this go (on)?" Without taking any name, the union minister said political leaders went to Pakistan and hugged Pakistan army chief without realising that such people engineered terror attacks against India. "As per my opinion, trade activities cannot take place with Pakistan in the light of prevailing circumstances particularly after a terror attack in Pulwama," he said.
Asked about his will to contest Lok Sabha elections from Amritsar as he has been visiting the city frequently, Puri said, "I do not intend to contest elections from the Amritsar Parliament seat. I have come here for a meeting -'Bharat Ke Man Ki Baat' organised here by Punjab BJP," said the Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs.
The meeting brought together representatives of all sections of the society including academicians, intellectuals, and NGOs among others to seek suggestions for the 'Sankalp Patra' - the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he said. Puri said the meeting was part of a nationwide exercise to seek and review the suggestions of all segments of the society and forward them to the manifesto committee.