BJP slams govt on Rehman Malik's controversial quotes



Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday demanded an explanation from the government on the controversial remarks made by Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik during his three-day visit which ended on Sunday.

BJP leader Yashwant Sinha raised the issue in the Lok Sabha while Ravi Shankar Prasad, speaking in the Rajya Sabha, said: "When the Indian government asked about (Lashkar-e-Taiba chief and 26/11 attack mastermind) Hafiz Saeed, he (Malik) said there is no proof and he said Abu Jundal is a spy of RAW (Research and Analysis Wing)."

"Above all, he raised the issue of Babri Masjid... it is interference in internal issues," said Prasad, demanding an explanation from Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Prasad asked why the government "failed" to tell Malik that Allahabad High Court has already given its verdict and those claiming it to be a mosque have been unable to prove it.

This triggered an angry reaction from Sabir Ali, a member of BJP ally JD(U), who trooped into the Well.

Malik, during his visit here, had said nobody wants to see the recurrence of incidents like Mumbai blasts, Samjhauta blasts or Babri Masjid issue. Later, however, he denied comparing the demolition of the shrine to the Mumbai attacks, adding that he had been "misunderstood".

"What Rehman Malik said was unwarranted, unprovoked. We strongly condemn it. I want to ask the Home Minister why Malik was allowed to come if his visit to India was with an agenda. Why the government did not respond to all this strongly? Home Minister should reply," Prasad said in presence of Shinde.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla said that Shinde would make a statement later.

Malik, before flying home on Sunday, alleged that Abu Jundal, who is said to have been present at the Karachi-based "control room" from where the horrific Mumbai terror attack was overseen and directed was actually an Indian intelligence agent.

(With IANS inputs)