BJP to raise Pak talks issue during Parliament session
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Last Updated: Friday, February 05, 2010, 21:27
New Delhi: BJP plans to attack the government in Parliament on its initiative on talks with Pakistan and seek an undertaking from the Prime Minister that no Indian territory would be compromised with or its stand on Kashmir diluted.

Expressing apprehensions that the offer of talks with Pakistan has been made under international pressure, BJP today said it would also like to know the reason behind the sudden need for starting the process when Pakistan has not given any assurance on checking terrorism.

"We are going to seek a clear undertaking from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that no Indian territory would be compromised or our stand on Kashmir diluted in whatever adventures/misadventures he is undertaking," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.

He asserted that at present there are already eight Indo-Pak working groups to deal with various contentious issues. The Foreign Secretaries are not a part of any of these groups and involving them now ipso facto means this is a composite dialogue.

Jaitley said in this dialogue process the issue of terrorism cannot be prioritised and India will have to go by Pakistan's understanding of the Sharm-el-Sheikh document which delinks terrorism from the composite dialogue.

After the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, India had announced that no dialogue with Pakistan would take place till Pakistan stopped encouraging terrorism against India from its soil.

Jaitley maintained that India had initiated this dialogue process with Pakistan under international pressure and rued that Pakistan has effectively proved that they can use terror as an instrument of foreign policy.

He also questioned the timing of this announcement, saying it had come on a day when Pakistan paraded its terrorists. Terror outfits, including Jamaat-ud-Dawa, held a meeting in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir yesterday and announced that they would continue the "Jehad" against India.

Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar termed the decision "an abject surrender" under international pressure.

"This unilateral decision is abject surrender under pressure and a complete U-turn of the government's earlier position. Foreign secretaries usually are engaged in composite dialogue and they don?t discuss terrorism," he said.

He maintained that this initiative was uncalled for and taken without getting a nod from the Cabinet Committee on security.

"This will also undermine Home Minister P Chidambaram's efforts to discuss terrorism with his Pakistani counterpart. This will prove yet another foreign policy blunder after Sharm-el-Sheikh," Javadekar said.

He quoted Army chief Deepak Kapoor as saying that bids -- some of which succeeded -- have been made to infiltrate more than 700 people. The terror camps across the border are still active, he maintained.


First Published: Friday, February 05, 2010, 21:27

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