Don’t take Pakistan threats lying down, Thackeray tells Modi

Mumbai, July 23 (IANS) Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to take lying down any threats from Pakistan and to give a “tit for tat” reply to Islamabad.

“Pakistan threatened to attack India with nuclear bombs…with such a possibility, the government must respond in the same manner…a tit for tat…it (Pakistan) can do anything as it has nothing to lose,” Thackeray said here.

The 54-year-old son of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray pointed out that relations between the two neighbours continued to be “tense” and even when bilateral talks were in progress, firing continued from across the borders.

“Pakistan has not changed much…Its tail continues to remain crooked…once and for all, we must chop off its tail,” Thackeray said in the first part of his marathon three-part annual interview in the party mouthpiece Saamana, ahead of his birthday.

He pointed out how he had said Modi had the guts to do this. “He can do it; This (NDA) government must chop off Pakistan’s tail,” he said.

The Shiv Sena is in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party both at the Centre and in Maharashtra.

Asked about the waving of Pakistani flags in Jammu and Kashmir even though the PDP-BJP was in power there, the Sena chief warned that certain elements in that state must be “crushed”, failing which the people would start comparing the NDA government with the earlier one led by the Congress.

Thackeray said he was surprised over the BJP decision to ally with the Peoples Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir although Mufti Mohammed Sayeed was labeled “pro-Pakistani” and “confrontationist” in the past.

“What can I do? It’s surprising…BJP president Amit Shah comes here and advises us to fulfill alliance commitment…but there, he is game for an alliance with the ‘Azad Kashmiris’ and ‘pro-Pakistani’ parties,” Thackeray said.

In the lengthy interview, Thackeray also expressed displeasure over several issues, including low representation to the Shiv Sena in the union cabinet, Maharashtra farmers’ suicides and Hindutva, and asked Modi to speed up “achhe din” or risk losing people’s faith.

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