BJP flays talks between Hurriyat leaders, Pak Foreign Secy
Patna: Terming as 'unfortunate' the talks between the separatist Hurriyat leaders and Pakistan Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani ahead of bilateral parleys, the BJP on Wednesday asked the Centre to lodge an official protest with Islamabad.
"It is a matter of grave concern that the visiting Pakistan Foreign Secretary holds talks with the separatist Hurriyat leaders at the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi yesterday ahead of the bilateral talks with India," BJP national Spokesman Ravishankar Prasad said at a symposium.
Jilani met the Hurriyat leaders despite knowing their 'anti-India' stand, he said and urged the Centre to lodge an official protest with Islamabad in this regard.
On the report by a team of interlocutors headed by journalist Dilip Padgaonkar which recommended steps for empowerment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, Prasad said that there were several "shortcomings in the report amounting to giving encouragement to separatist forces."
If an attempt was to be made to break away Jammu and Kashmir in the garb of the interlocutors' report, then the BJP will oppose it forcefully, Prasad said and asked the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to clarify whether the government was inclined to accept the Padgaonkar committee report.
He, however, said that the BJP favoured measures like decentralization of the gram panchayats and financial measures for development of Jammu and Kashmir without discrimination to Jammu, Ladakh and Kargil.
Prasad took exception to a particular recommendation of the Padgaonkar committee report which advocates for implementation of the state laws in Jammu and Kashmir that existed prior to 1952.
On article 370 of the constitution, Prasad said that his party's stand on the constitutional provision has been clear and consistent and the provision has become an obstacle in strengthening the pillars of social justice in Jammu and Kashmir.
The senior BJP leader also spoke about Pakistan's sponsorship of terrorism in India and said that the arrest of a terrorist Abu Jundal from Saudi Arabia in connection with 26/11 Mumbai terror attack substantiated the charge against Islamabad as Jundal was travelling on the Pakistani identity and visa, which the neighbouring country was now denying.
Though Pakistan has also borne the brunt of terrorism, but it was living in self-denial mode by not accepting that the terrorists based in that country were carrying out terror activities in India under the guidance of the ISI and the army, Prasad said and asked the country to root out terrorism from its soil.