New Delhi: The BJP on Wednesday convened a press conference and questioned Congress president Rahul Gandhi and opposition parties for the joint statement that is now being used by Pakistan to make its case against India. Union minister Prakash Javadekar alleged at the press meet in the evening, “At a time when the country should be speaking in one voice, Rahul Gandhi alleged the BJP of playing politics over Pulwama attack.”

The BJP showed a news clip from a Pakistani news channel where, in the course of a interview over telephone, Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi hit out at India, cashing in on the joint statement of 21 opposition parties. 

Qureshi, in the news clip, is heard saying, “What will we get out of all this? But India was desperate to extract a political dividend. Let me tell you, today opposition parties of India issued a joint communiqué where it raised a lot of issues. But what’s most important is that they said BJP was using the Pulwama terror attack to its own political benefit.”

If that wasn’t damning enough, Qureshi charged, “This is for the first time that the opposition parties in India have come out in the open and laid bare the truth of India”.

The BJP, in the short press briefing, accused the opposition of handing an opportunity to Pakistan. “When the country is going through such a phase, such statements by Rahul Gandhi and the opposition wasn’t in the right spirit,” the ruling party said.

The BJP had called the media briefing on unusually short notice — at 9:15 PM — after the clip went viral in Pakistan and made its way to Indian social media users.

Earlier in the day, 21 political parties in a joint statement had said, “The meeting of 21 parties expressed their deep anguish over the blatant politicisation of the sacrifices made by our armed forces by leaders of the ruling party. National security must transcend narrow political considerations and uphold the unity and integrity of our country.”

The statement alleged further, “The leaders observed that the Prime Minister has, regrettably, not convened an all-party meeting as per established practice in our democracy.”

And now this very statement has become the biggest weapon in the hands of the Pakistani establishment in its pursuit to legitimising its sponsorship of terror against India. 

The BJP, however, dismissed all the allegations. 

On the charge of Prime Minister Narendra Modi not calling an all-party meeting, sources say, the external affairs minister had done the same within hours of the successful counter-offensive by India. In fact, Sushma Swaraj was asked to stay back by the Prime Minister in New Delhi, following India’s act of avenging the Pulwama terror attack. 

Swaraj, while attending the emergency Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting, had called an all-party meeting at 5 PM on Tuesday to brief all political parties about the offensive carried out by the Indian Air Force early that morning. 

IAF fighter pilots went deep inside Pakistan and bombed a terror camp in Balakot, which was run by Jaish-e-Mohammed. India’s external affairs ministry said it was a “pre-emptive attack” as well as India’s response to the dastardly suicide bombing in Pulwama on February 14 that claimed the lives of at least 40 CRPF jawans.