`President seeking public support, appreciation through tough stand on Pakistan`
New Delhi: Communist Party of India ( CPI) leader Gurudas Dasgupta on Friday said President Pranab Mukherjee could have cautioned the government rather than attempting to get public support and appreciation over his remark that `state-sponsored terrorism (from or by Pakistan) cannot be accepted`.
Dasgupta said if President Mukherjee has something to say as strong as it is and if he believes that the government is not doing its job properly and is found to be soft on Pakistan then that is surely not the way to take the corrective measures.
"What he believes to be true, he could have written an official letter to the government, he could have issued a warning to the government, he could have cautioned the government. During Babri Masjid demolition, we have seen the President issuing a public statement warning the government. All these methods are there in Constitutional behaviour," said Dasgupta.
"If this is not done, if the President chooses his way to speak through the press, then, that may get him appreciation, but that will not correct the government policy," he added.
To a poser on whether it reflected the fact that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is soft on Pakistan and not President Mukherjee, Dasgupta said: "I do not believe. He was the Defence Minister. What he did at that time? He was the number two unofficially, what did he do?"
"He became president only recently. He has become more conscious now after relinquishing the power. It is a playing to the gallery to get the public support and appreciation," he added.
Asserting that state-sponsored terrorism from across the border cannot be accepted, President Mukherjee has said India wants peace with Pakistan but there can be no compromise with its own territorial integrity.
"Terrorist activities must be curbed. And, state-sponsored terrorism can never be accepted. Therefore, repeatedly, we are saying, please dismantle the terrorist outfits which are located in your area," he said in an interview to Euronews.
President Mukherjee, who is presently on an official visit to Belgium, said non-state actors who perpetrate terrorism was a word used by Pakistan.
"It may not be. But non-state actors, that is the phrase they used, then I responded by saying that non-state actors are not coming from heaven. Non-state actors are coming from territory under your control," said President Mukherjee.
"And not now, in 2004 Pakistan agreed that their territories will not be allowed to be used by forces inimical to India," he added, when he was asked to comment that India says that this is state-sponsored terrorism and Pakistan says it is not state-sponsored terrorism.
President Mukherjee said India wants peace with its neighbours.
"In 1971, when Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was Prime Minister of Pakistan, India entered into an agreement which is known as Shimla Agreement...ninety-one thousand imprisoned soldiers, prisoners of war, were returned," President Mukherjee said.
"This was just to show the goodwill that in our basic foreign policy we do not have any territorial ambition, we do not have any ambition to export our ideology to any country or we do not have any commercial interests," he added.
He also stressed that no nation can, however, compromise on its territorial integrity.
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