`Timing of UK’s decision to engage with Modi questionable`

A leading British daily noted that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has never expressed any remorse or apologised for the killings.

Updated: Oct 16, 2012, 18:32 PM IST

London: A leading British daily on Tuesday suggested that Britain and other countries, who have decided to engage with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, should "make it clear that rehabilitation is not licence for the type of supremacist inspired nationalism that fuelled the 2002 massacres".

In a strongly-worded editorial, The Financial Times said, "The timing (of Britain`s decision to engage with Modi) is, however, highly questionable. It comes as Gujarat prepares for elections in December which Mr Modi is expected to win.”

"His majority could be enhanced by his new-found international acceptance. Recognition may also boost his chances for India`s national elections in 2014, where he is being cited as a possible prime minister.”

"Mr Modi is now a far more serious contender than he would have been had he still been shunned internationally".

In the editorial headlined `Gujarat`s Shame, Rehabilitation does not absolve Modi`s government`, the newspaper said "Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, is one of India`s most dynamic and business-friendly states. But for 10 years he has also been an international outcast as the Hindu nationalist leader of a regional government accused of complicity in riots which killed an estimated 2,000 Muslims".

The paper noted that Modi has never expressed any remorse or apologised for the killings.