BJP says Pak diverting attention, slams Malik for Babri remark
New Delhi/Ahmedabad: Questioning Pakistan's sincerity in tackling "core issue" of cross-border terrorism, BJP on Saturday charged it with talking peace with a "destructive" mindset and criticised Interior Minister Rehman Malik for his "provocative" statement equating Babri demolition with 26/11 terror attacks.
Speaking in Ahmedabad, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said it was "strange and unfortunate" to see Malik speaking on cross border terrorism emanating from Pakistan and in terms of domestic developments in India "in the same breath" and the comments have come from a representative of a nation "which has a dismal track record in relation to its own religious and ethnic minority and their rights."
"Pakistan talks about peace with a destructive mindset. The core issue is Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and all issues like relaxation of visa regime are irrelevant," BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said in Delhi, adding that there were a number of "factories of terrorists" flourishing in Pakistan and unless these are demolished the peace process between the two nations cannot move forward.
Jaitley said ordinarily, his party doesn't comment on a visit of a foreign dignitary when the visit is on. "However during a visit something which is very provocative is said, particularly when it goes unrebutted by the Indian Ministers present, a response is required and therefore we are constrained to make it.
"Its regrettable that it went unchallenged, particularly when comments have come from a representative of a nation which has a dismal track record in relation to its own religious and ethnic minority and their rights," he told reporters, adding the comments are "completely unfortunate, uncalled for and should really had been rebutted by the Indian ministers present there".
Reacting to statements made by Malik during his visit to
India, Naqvi said it was unfortunate that whenever the core issue of cross-border terrorism was raised, Pakistan has always tried to divert the issue.
"Pakistan has always tried to divert the issue or feigned ignorance and blamed India instead. This is not an honest effort and peace talks cannot succeed with such a mindset," said the BJP leader.
"In Pakistan, a large number of factories of terrorists are flourishing and the government of Pakistan is protecting them. Unless these factories are demolished, how can the peace process go ahead. The core issue is still terrorism and all these issues are irrelevant unless the confidence of the people is won. These talks like relaxation in visas and other steps have no meaning," he said.
The Pakistan Minister had said that there was no credible evidence to arrest Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and instead blamed India for not providing "substantive evidence" against Saeed so far.
Even though New Delhi has conveyed its strong concerns over Saeed being allowed to roam freely in Pakistan and also indulge in provocative anti-India rhetoric, Malik said a mere statement of Lashker-e-Taiba terrorist Ajmal Kasab, who was executed on November 21, about Saeed's involvement in the 2008 attack could not be the only evidence to nail Saeed.
"It needs further corroboration," he had said.
Jaitley said the BJP has noticed, with "sense of concern" the statement of the visiting minister from Pakistan. He also took a dig at Pakistan's Interior Minister over his comments on the issue of the torture of Kargil hero Captain Saurabh Kalia by the Pakistani Army.
"He was not expected to speculate on the issue of Major Kalia," he said.