National security never on agenda of NAC: Jaitley
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Last Updated: Friday, July 15, 2011, 22:34
New Delhi: BJP on Friday alleged that national security was never on the agenda of Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council and demanded a strong anti-terror policy to deal firmly with Pakistan.

"These repeated attacks on Mumbai must necessarily convince the whole of India that we need a system ranging from intelligence, prevention and punishment where it is not possible to attack any place in India," Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said in an article posted on the BJP website.

He said, "Has national security ever been on the agenda of those who claim to be the repositories of the Civil Society or the National Advisory Council? The spirit of Mumbai must lead to a national resolve that all steps, political, administrative and security related must be taken to eliminate terror."

He demanded that a firm policy towards Pakistan, which has he said has allegedly been sponsoring terrorism against India, was the need of the hour.

"India lives with a traumatic neighbourhood... Our neighbour on the western border has used terrorism as an instrument of state policy. There is hardly a major global terror attack where a Pakistani connection is not discovered. Pakistan has been correctly described as an epicenter of global terror," Jaitley said.

Jaitley said that Kasab's trial as well as the Chicago trial (of LeT operative David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Rana) had given enough evidence that organisations like LeT, JuD and Indian Mujahideen were sponsored by Pakistan.

"Those who favour engagement with Pakistan must necessarily remember that Pakistan today is in a turmoil. It is ostensibly a part of the war against terror. It is also in alliance with those who perpetuate terror," Jaitley said.

He maintained that unless Pakistan decides to become "less radical, more transparent, more democratic" and a nation de-linking itself from terror, the success of any engagement with it would be doubtful.

The senior BJP leader said the January, 2004 agreement between India and Pakistan, which said the latter would not allow its soil to be used for sponsoring terror against India, should be the basis of our policy towards our neighbour.

Jaitley strongly criticised the UPA government for not taking appropriate measures like passing a strong anti-terror law on the lines of TADA and POTA, and putting a stop to votebank politics.

"TADA was brought in by Rajiv Gandhi to investigate terror acts and punish the terrorists.... When it was correctly used against the terrorists responsible for the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai, a campaign for its repeal was launched and TADA was repealed. POTA was repealed on the ground that we did not need a special law against terror," he said.

He alleged that Congress leaders were playing vote bank politics by questioning the Batla House encounter and visiting homes of IM suspects in Azamgarh.

"It is vote bank and vote bank politics alone which is responsible for delaying punitive action against the conspirator in the Parliament attack. The National Counter Terrorism Centre promised to be created by September 2009 has still not been created," Jaitley said.


First Published: Friday, July 15, 2011, 22:34

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