PUNE: Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar Friday said the Pulwama terror attack was an attack on the nation and there should be no attempts to politicise the issue.
The former Union minister also took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over some of the latter's statements after such attacks during the Congress-led UPA regime.
Speaking to reporters on home turf Baramati in Pune district, Pawar called Thursday's attack on the CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir as an attack on the nation.
"I can remember, Prime Minister Modi, before coming to power, used to say in his election rallies that (then PM) Manmohan Singh's government had failed to teach Pakistan a lesson (after such attacks). He (Modi) used to say the Manmohan Singh government did not have ability to teach a lesson (to Pakistan). He also used to remark that only those with a 56-inch chest could administer a tough lesson to Pakistan," Pawar said.
Modi, in his rallies, used to exhort people to replace the UPA government with that of the BJP so that Pakistan could be given a befitting reply for such terror attacks, Pawar told reporters.
"But everyone has seen what has happened now. But today I will not repeat that same demand which he (Modi) had made (at that time)," Pawar said.
The kind of image that Modi created of himself in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls had now become a "100 per cent failure", he said.
The hand of state players in Pakistan cannot be ruled out in the Pulwama attack looking at its magnitude and explosives used, Pawar said.
Having such capabilities was not possible for common persons or outfits, he added.
"Such explosives and weapons are generally available with the army. Since they cannot get it from the Indian Army, it is clear the neighbouring nation provided such weapons to the attackers," he claimed.
Pawar said the way the attack was carried out showed the attacker/s were trained by experts.
"Since the army can give such training, it shows the attackers were given training from the neighbouring nation's soil," claimed Pawar.
The former defence minister said the attackers had knowledge of the CRPF convoy's movement.
"After the attack, some terrorists opened fire at the vehicles. It shows the attack was pre-planned," he said.
"Today the entire nation stands with the families of the martyred soldiers. To fight such attacks, the country needs to stand as a strong nation," he said.
Calling the situation worrisome, Pawar said there was need to give national security and defence greater importance.
He said, if needed, an all-party meet should be convened so that a message goes out the entire country stands united during this trying time.