1998 N-tests gave parity to Pak: Jaswant Singh

Last Updated: Monday, November 29, 2010 - 00:08

New Delhi: Senior BJP leader Jaswant
Singh, known for toeing a different line from that of his
party on several issues, today said India`s nuclear tests in
1998 during the NDA regime gave a "parity" to Pakistan that it
had always sought.

"The question that troubles us is that the 1998
nuclear tests by India conferred a kind of parity to Pakistan
that it had always sought," Singh said at a seminar at IIC
here on Monday.

Explaining further, the former External Affairs
Minister said this parity had come about as the "deterrent
quotient" had been altered after the nuclear tests.

"You cannot deter the undeterable... One who is not
frightened of death but welcomes death," he said.

The Pokharan-II tests, which catapulted India from a
threshold nuclear power to a full-fledged one, is something
that the BJP-led NDA is proud of and proclaims as one of its
biggest achievements.

Singh was the External Affairs Minister at the time
the tests were conducted.

In the seminar, Singh- who was expelled from the BJP
for authoring a book praising Pakistan-founder M A Jinnah and
holding former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar
Patel responsible for partition, said there was a need to
reach out to the neighbouring country as well as the whole of
North-West, including Afghanistan.

Quoting eminent academician Stephen Cohen, Singh said
Indian and Pakistan have had estranged relations with each
other for the last 63 years and "it requires just another 37
years to make it the second 100 year war in history".

"We don`t have to make it the second 100 year war," he

Singh also criticised India`s alleged role in training
LTTE cadre who fought in Sri Lanka.

"We trained the LTTE. We created the Frankeinstein....
The Tamils in Sri Lanka today are facing problems due to
this," Singh said.

Interestingly, the former union minister said the
problems in India`s neighbourhood were caused due to failure
of the US foreign policy.

"The dilemma we face in the neighbourhood is a result
of the failure of US foreign policy. US is unable to withdraw
(from Afghanistan) and is unable to dominate," Singh said.

In reply to a question on why Indian legislature had
not been able to play as active a role in Indo-Pakistan
relations as our Executive had, Singh said, "There are no
votes (at stake) while dealing with Pakistan."


First Published: Monday, November 29, 2010 - 00:08

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