Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday demanded an apology from the Congress for talking about “conspiracy theories” related to the Pulwama terror attack. His remark came a day after Pakistan minister Fawad Chaudhry admitted that his country was responsible for the attack. But Chaudhry, who made the remarks in the country’s Parliament, later backtracked after his comment drew flak.

“Pakistan has admitted that it was behind the Pulwama terror attack,” Javadekar said in a tweet. “Now, the Congress and others who talked of conspiracy theories should apologise to the country.”

Bharatiya Janata Party Spokesperson Sambit Patra, on the other hand, hit out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for calling the Pulwama terror attack “match fixing” between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan, News18 reported.

At a press briefing, Patra also criticised Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu for hugging Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at Khan’s swearing-in ceremony in 2018. “We had asked Navjot Singh Sidhu to not go [to the oath-taking ceremony] and he went and hugged Bajwa,” Patra. “He did this on the prince’s [Rahul Gandhi’s] orders.”

BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya said Opposition leaders “who spoke for Pakistan” must now face questions. “Fawad Hussein, minister in Imran Khan’s cabinet admits Pulwama was Pakistan’s doing and credited Imran’s leadership,” he tweeted. “Now, one needs to ask the likes of Arvind Kejriwal, Rahul Gandhi, Farooq Abdullah, Mamata Banerjee, Ramgopal Yadav and others who spoke for the Pakistanis.”

Chaudhry had said in Pakistan’s National Assembly on Thursday that Pakistan hit India “in their home”. “Humne hindustan ko ghus ke maara [We hit India in their home],” he declared. “Our success in Pulwama, is a success of the people under the leadership of Imran Khan. You and we are all part of that success.”

The remark triggered an uproar in the Assembly, after which the minister said: “Pulwama ke waqiyeh ke baad, jab humne India ko ghus ke maara [When we hit India in their home after the incident at Pulwama]”.

On the first anniversary of the Pulwama terror attack, Rahul Gandhi had asked the government about the outcome of the inquiry. “Today as we remember our 40 CRPF martyrs in the Pulwama attack, let us ask: Who benefitted the most from the attack,” he had tweeted. “What is the outcome of the inquiry into the attack? Who in the BJP government has yet been held accountable for the security lapses that allowed the attack?” The Left had accused the government of incompetence for failing to stop the attack.

In February 2019, 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed after an explosive-laden car driven by a suicide bomber rammed into their bus in Pulwama. In August, the National Investigation Agency had filed a chargesheet in the case. Nineteen people, including Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar and his brother Rauf Asghar, were named in the chargesheet.

The NIA’s investigation also revealed that Pakistan used Adil Ahmad Dar, the suicide bomber who rammed the CRPF convoy on February 14, because it wanted to project the attack as a result of a home-grown militancy against “India’s occupation of Kashmir”.