BJP favours US-like strike in Pak to kill 26/11 handlers

BJP came out strongly in favour of a US-like surgical strike in Pakistan to kill terrorists responsible for 26/11 Mumbai attacks, rubbishing all arguments that this would be a breach of sovereignty of the neighbouring country.

Updated: May 06, 2011, 19:34 PM IST

New Delhi: BJP on Friday came out strongly in
favour of a US-like surgical strike in Pakistan to kill
terrorists responsible for 26/11 Mumbai attacks, rubbishing
all arguments that this would be a breach of sovereignty of
the neighbouring country.

Former Minister of External Affairs and senior BJP
leader Yashwant Sinha hit out at the US for stating that the
9/11 attacks were different from the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

"This distinction is unacceptable to us as Indian lives
are as precious as US lives. India has been at the receiving
end of terrorism for over two decades. India cannot be denied
the rights that the US has, including that of surgical
strikes," Sinha said.

He took strong exception to the comments of Pakistan
Foreign Minister Salman Bashir warning India against surgical
strikes like the one carried out by the US Navy Seals which
killed global terrorist Osama bin Laden.

Bashir was reportedly responding to a statement made by
Indian army Chief VK Singh that Indian forces were capable of
carrying out such operations.

"The manner in which the Pakistan Foreign Secretary has
responded to our army chief`s innocuous statement and held out
a threat to India is most unbecoming and shows the mindset of
Pakistan that they will take blow after blow from the US but
when it comes to India they talk of parity," Sinha said.

Asked if India should think in terms of surgical
strikes, the former foreign minister answered in the
affirmative.

"India should reserve the right of surgical strikes and
hot pursuit against Pakistan irrespective of the consequences.
As and when considered necessary, India should not hesitate
to carry out such an attack," Sinha said.

In reply to another question as to whether the Indian
government lacked the political will to carry out such an
attack, Sinha said, "India has always been considered a soft
state and it is time we shed this image."

He rubbished arguments that surgical strikes would be
against Pakistan`s sovereignty.

"Sovereignty of Pakistan has long been in tatters. US
has been striking at terrorists and terror bases in Pakistan
through drone attacks. Even today 10 terrorists have been
killed in drone attacks," Sinha said.

He insisted that the operation to kill Bin Laden clearly
shows US has "no use for so-called sovereignty" of Pakistan.

"When it comes to India, Pakistan talks about
sovereignty but as a vassal of the US it does not," Sinha
said.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, however, took a more
cautious line, stating that the government lacks the political
will to carry out such an attack.

"Our army chief has said Indian forces are capable of
carrying out such attacks. We welcome this statement. We are
not concerned with what the US says. 26/11 is more than 9/11
for us. Mumbai attacks were also unique as India was
attacked," he said.

The Rajya Sabha MP maintained that countries like the US
and Israel have "shown this courage (of carrying out surgical
strikes)", but the Indian government of the day lacks this
courage.

He insisted that it is upto the Indian government to
bring wanted terrorists reportedly living in Pakistan, and
whether it does so through diplomatic channels or surgical
strikes is upto the government.

PTI