Advani criticises PM for praising Gilani
Churu: BJP leader LK Advani
on Saturday flayed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for terming his
Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani a "man of peace" and
holding talks with the neighbouring country, saying it had
"done nothing to curb terrorism".
"The Manmohan Singh government keeps saying, as it has
on many occasions said, that whether terrorism stops or not,
the government would continue to talk with Pakistan...We (NDA
government) had said that we do not agree to this and talks
would not happen till the time Pakistan promises to stop
terror," Advani said addressing a rally here.
"Four years after the Agra summit, the Pakistani
government did promise to stop terror but incidents have kept
happening one after the other. But two days ago, Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh gave yet another certificate to
Pakistan by saying that the Pakistani Prime Minister is a man
of peace," he said.
Advani also claimed that the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led
government had adopted a more firm approach while dealing with
"We recognised Pakistan's attitude and we thought that
there should be friendship with Pakistan. We were clear that
we would convey to them that the Vajpayee government wanted
friendship with Pakistan but would never under any
circumstance compromise on terrorism," he said.
He added, when the NDA government was newly formed,
Vajpayee had discussed the policy towards Pakistan with him.
"Vajpayee decided that he himself would take a bus and
talk to the people in Pakistan. He did go there and a lot of
praise and appreciation followed. But soon after General
Musharraf started the Kargil war. Musharraf was beaten in the
war but soon after he removed the Prime Minister of Pakistan
in a coup," he said.
Advani said that only after a lot of thinking, Vajpayee
had agreed to invite then President Pervez Musharraf.
The BJP leader also narrated instances to demonstrate
the approach his government had adopted towards Pakistan.
"We invited him, he came and met us in Agra...I asked
him that Dawood, who is staying in your country, has killed a
lot of people here. And the court here has held him
responsible for Mumbai blasts...You should hand him over to
us," Advani said talking about Musharraf's visit.
"Musharraf replied that Dawood was not in Pakistan.
Later a Pakistani official commented to me that I had forced
Musharraf to tell a white lie before half a dozen Pakistani
and an equal number of Indian officials. Everyone knew that he
(Musharraf) was lying as Dawood lived in Pakistan and we even
had his address," he said.
"Musharraf said that whatever is happening is not
terrorism but the war for Kashmir's 'Azadi'. I countered him
asking if the killing of women and children waiting at bus
stops in bomb blasts was war for 'Azadi'. If you call this a
war for 'Azadi' then there can be no understanding between you
and us," Advani told his supporters.
"That was the first Indo-Pak talks in which no written
statement of any kind was released," he added.
The BJP veteran also said, though the slogan 'Jai Jawan
Jai Kisan' was coined by former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur
Shastri of the Congress, it was the Vajpayee government that
understood it the best.
By providing credit cards to farmers and planning
schemes like the inter-linking of rivers the Vajpayee
government had attempted to serve the farmers and had adopted
a firm approach on terrorism and security out of respect for
the brave soldiers, he said.
Churu was Advani's last major rally in Rajasthan, from
where his Jan Chetna Yatra is scheduled to reach Hisar in
Haryana by Saturday evening.