For a change, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appeared to be in agreement while responding to questions on the killing of Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil.
The Congress said it underscored India's long-held position that terrorists had been finding protection on the soil of its western neighbour; the BJP stressed that Osama's death in Pakistan proved what India had said repeatedly: “Pakistan is the epicentre of global terrorism.”
“The neutralisation of Osama underscores the point India has been making for three decades,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said here on Monday, adding, “terrorist organisations of various shades have been finding space and protection on Pakistani soil.”
The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, he said, had repeatedly told its international interlocutors that “the terror infrastructure is seamless, and that it is perhaps not appropriate to make a distinction between different kinds of terror.”
The BJP, on its part, lost no time in repeating its demand for the perpetrators of the 26/11 attack in Mumbai to be handed to India for trial and justice. Chief party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said India must ensure that all those responsible for the Mumbai attack be handed over to India, as Pakistan which had given shelter to this “most dangerous and visible face of global jihadi terror,” and repeatedly exported terror to other countries, especially India, cannot be expected to do this job.
The Congress spokesperson, meanwhile, in answer to a question, said India had already conveyed to Pakistan the need for strong and quick action against the accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. The standards of prevention of terror applied on Pakistan's western borders, Mr. Tewari said, needed to be applied to its eastern borders as well.
“The fight against terrorism has to be holistic and globally coordinated to bring the guilty to justice,” he added.
BJP's Mr. Prasad did not spare the United States either. He said it needed to “reflect” on the fact that though Pakistan was its declared ally in the war on terror, it has acknowledged that it did not – or could not – share information with Pakistan that it had zeroed in on Osama bin Laden's whereabouts and was launching an operation to kill him.
Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj was quickest off the mark, placing a comment on Twitter: “Humanity's enemy number one” had been killed, her tweet read.