NDA MPs meet Prez, seek intervention on Chinese incursion
New Delhi: MPs of BJP-led NDA on Friday met President Pranab Mukherjee to express concern over Chinese incursions into Ladakh and the manner in which the case of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh was handled by the government.
The delegation, led by NDA working chairperson LK Advani, met Mukherjee in the Rashtrapati Bhavan and submitted a memorandum seeking his intervention on the two issues.
They demanded that Mukherjee discuss these issues with the UPA government and ask them to take appropriate action.
Advani told reporters that Sarabjit had initially been given a death sentence which was commuted to life imprisonment.
"Sarabjit had reportedly completed his sentence and had received a condonation of his death sentence, as its execution had been delayed for too long. We are given to understand that he was due to be released but held back in Pakistan as a retaliatory gesture," Advani said.
The NDA alleged that Sarabjit's murder could not have taken place without "official connivance" in the Lahore jail and at least, some authorities were involved.
"What distresses us very greatly is the inaction of the Government of India, the Ministry of External Affairs and the officials concerned of not having constantly monitored this case... We are persuaded to emphasise this because we hold that our government's inaction in this case cannot be condoned. They owe the country an explanation and an apology," Advani said.
On the "unilateral and forceful Chinese occupation" in Ladakh, the NDA expressed concern that this may escalate into a 1962-like situation when there were similar incursions before it turned into a full-blown war.
"Government and the Prime Minister have repeatedly announced that this is a 'localised' incident. May we submit this would tantamount to a disingenuous evasion of government's responsibility?" Advani said.
"We would like to remind the government that silent acquiescence in the face of fait-accompli, whether of Pakistan or China is unforgivable pusillanimity. This is simply not acceptable," the NDA memorandum said.
Opposition parties submitted to the President that just because the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is undefined does not mean China can give it a unilateral physical definition through unilateral and forceful occupation.
Terming this as unacceptable, the NDA said, "This manner of unilateral 'localised' actions, resulting in seizure of land, amounts to giving a forcible and physical definition to the LAC."
The NDA leaders maintained that the "arbitrary and unilateral breach" by China cannot be viewed as normal conduct.
"It is violative of agreed principles governing the conduct of forces of China in respect of the LAC," the memorandum said.
NDA also emphasised on the need for recalling a resolution adopted by both Houses of Parliament in November, 1962.
"The government must govern, or it must go," the NDA said.
Advani insisted that the government should clarify both the Sarabjit case and the Chinese intrusions in Parliament next week.
"Is it true that Sarabjit should have been released as he had completed his life sentence?" Advani said, adding the NDA hopes government will give a response in Parliament on this issue.
BJP president Rajnath Singh pointed out to Mukherjee that before 2010 army was deployed in the Ladakh region where these incursions are taking place.
He requested that India should revert to the 2010 position and again post the army in the region. He also told Mukherjee that External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid should cancel his proposed visit to China on May 9.