New Delhi: Slamming the government for claiming credit for the return of marines, Opposition on Friday insisted that it was only due to Supreme Court pressure that the Italians had relented and accused the UPA of extending its "politics of appeasement" to the international fora.
back. It is due to the strictness shown by the Supreme Court that the two marines who used to go back for Christmas and voting in the elections have been called back," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
The party hit out at External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid for claiming that diplomacy had ensured the return of the two marines charged with killing of two fishermen off Kerala coast and asked why he has failed to bring back terror mastermind Dawood Ibrahim from Pakistan.
"Khurshid is taking credit for this. Mastermind of the Mumbai blasts Dawood Ibrahim is still in Pakistan. Why does he not bring them back? Even the Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed is there. Government should bring them back," Hussain said.
The main opposition maintained that though it did not wish to do politics on such an issue, the fact is that had there not been Supreme Court pressure, this would not have happened.
"This government has been doing politics of appeasement in the country and is now doing it on the international fora as well," Hussain said, adding that the return of the marines was a "victory" of the apex court.
Asked about government assurance to Italy that the two marines will not be given a death penalty as it is not a rarest of rare case, the BJP spokesperson said the quantum of punishment should be determined by the Supreme Court and not the government.
BJP charged that the two marines were "sent as special guests" to Italy.
Disputing claim that it was the victory of the stand taken by the Central and state governments, CPI(M) Rajya Sabha member from Kerala KN Balagopal said Italy`s decision to send back marines was the victory of "the collective effort of the Indian people, Parliament and judiciary".
"We have also proved that we are not a colony of Italy," he added.