New Delhi: Pointing fingers at the BJP for being the one who allowed Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar to return to Pakistan and carry out terror activities over the years, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday asserted his party will deal with terrorism sternly and strictly.
"Who sent him there (in Pakistan)? How he went there? Which government sent him? The BJP negotiates with terrorists and buckles under pressure. They bowed down before terror.
"It was not done by the Congress," Rahul said amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking credit for Azhar being designated terrorist by world body UN, and terror strikes to wipe out terror launch pads across the border.
Addressing a mid-poll press conference here, the Congress leader said, "Masood Azhar is a terrorist and strict action should be taken against him."
He also asserted that the Congress will never negotiate with terrorists.
"Terrorism has to be dealt with sternly," he added.
He was responding to a question over Masood Azhar being declared a global terrorist by the United Nation Security Council.
The Modi government, while taking credit for getting Azhar blacklisted, should also tell the citizens that it was during a BJP regime that the JeM chief was released and he transformed into an even bigger threat to India, the Congress had said earlier on Thursday following the UN action.
Azhar was released from a prison in India in 1999, in exchange for 155 hostages held on an Indian Airlines flight that had been hijacked to Kandahar, Afghanistan. The terror lord then created a base for himself in Pakistan for two decades.