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Mayawati cautions against hasty decision on Indo-Pak ties

Amid outcry over the beheading of an Indian soldier by Pakistani Army, BSP supremo Mayawati said war is not the "only option" and cautioned that no hasty decision should be taken.

New Delhi: Amid outcry over the beheading of an Indian soldier by Pakistani Army near the Line of Control, BSP supremo Mayawati on Tuesday said war is not the "only option" and cautioned that no hasty decision should be taken regarding ties with the neighbouring country.

"I can`t say that war is the only solution. There is still room to find a solution. If the Government of India is serious, a peaceful solution can be found," she told a press conference here.

The BSP chief was responding to a media query on whether her party supported war against Pakistan as a means to resolve the issue.

Asked whether she favoured snapping sport and economic ties with Pakistan in view of the recent flare up along the LoC, Mayawati said any decision regarding relationship with the neighbouring country "should not be taken in haste till the time we reach a conclusion."

The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister also slammed the Congress-led UPA government for the current situation on the borders with Pakistan.

"Government is utilising its energies on issues other than public interest...The government has not taken a serious stand on the issue. Firing (along LoC) is now a routine affair which has claimed lives of several of our soldiers," she said.

She alleged that poor government response was also responsible for increased incidents of terrorism which has led to loss of life and property in various parts of the country.

Attacking the UPA for its failures on "several fronts", Mayawati also attacked the BJP-led NDA saying its "attitude" has "disappointed" people.

"Their lack of discipline and direction has given `jeevan dan` (new lease of life) to the UPA government," she said, adding that had the NDA fared better, several of UPA allies would have joined it.

Mayawati said since the UPA and the NDA have failed to live up to the expectations of the people, people were now looking for an alternative which her party can provide in the next Lok Sabha elections.

She, however, added that a final decision will have to be taken by the electorate while casting their vote in the next general election. "Polls can throw up surprising results which you (journalists) do not expect," she said.

Asked why was the BSP supporting the UPA government from outside despite its `anti-people` policies, Mayawati said she had already explained the reasons on an earlier occasion.

She had recently said that since three-and-a-half years have already passed, there was no point in pulling the plug. She had also hoped that better sense would prevail on the government.

The BSP leader also said that every decision to support the UPA on various issue is taken after "due deliberation."

She skirted questions on BSP`s stand if the bill on reservation in promotion in government jobs fails to get Parliament`s nod during the Budget session.

"Let the Budget session commence," she said. The bill, supported by BSP, was passed in Rajya Sabha but got stuck in Lok Sabha following fierce opposition by rival Samajwadi Party.

Mayawati held the press conference to mark her 57th birthday today. She also released English and Hindi versions of her book - `A travelogue of my struggle-ridden life and BSP movement, volume 8`.

The book is popularly called the BSP Blue Book in party circles.