BJP-Cong spar on PM terming Gilani `man of peace`

PM Manmohan Singh describing his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani as a "man of peace".

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
describing his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani as a
"man of peace" after their meeting in Maldives on Thursday led to
fresh sparring between BJP and Congress here.
"The Prime Minister of India has erred in describing
Gilani as a man of peace. The central issue between India and
Pakistan has been cross-border terrorism and there is nothing
Pakistan has done to warrant the impression that they are
serious about tackling the issue," BJP leader and former
External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha said.

He was reacting to the remark of Singh after a meeting
with Gilani on the sidelines of the Saarc Summit in Addu in

Sinha said the Prime Minister seemed to be "oblivious"
to what his own people were saying.

Congress was quick to denounce Sinha`s criticism saying
the Opposition party`s memory is narrow and it would be better
if it first looked into its own track record vis-a-vis
Pakistan when NDA was in the power.
"BJP`s memory is not only weak but also very narrow.
Before making any such comments, it should look into its own
track record. Before making such light comments, BJP should
check its knowledge of diplomacy," AICC spokesperson Manish
Tewari said.

He added, "I want to ask BJP, who took the bus to Lahore.
Did nothing happen after the Lahore step. Who attacked on
Parliament, the Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir. Then why (the
NDA Prime Minister) Atal Behari Vajpayee invited Pakistani
President Pervez Musharraf to India. Who gave the certificate
of secularism to Muhammad Ali Jinnah?"

Echoing similar views, Minister of State for
Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said, "why should somebody
feel pained if the Prime Minister is trying to build peace
between two countries."


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