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BJP smells “American hand” behind Havana statement
Says joint mechanism will be a nonstarter
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 19
The Bharatiya Janata Party suspects an “American hand” behind India’s “unprecedented capitulation” before Pakistan on the issue of cross-border terrorism.

It asked: “If the joint mechanism suggested by India in Havana is the first step towards joint Indo-Pakistan control over Jammu and Kashmir.”

“Are unseen powers pushing India towards a solution of Jammu and Kashmir that India has rejected all along?” former External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha asked here today and admitted in response to a question that “it could be an American hand”.

Giving his party’s third reaction to the Indo-Pak joint statement issued in Havana, Mr Sinha said the BJP felt that the statement “is an unprecedented capitulation of India before Pakistan on the issue of cross-border terrorism.

“It has wiped out in one stroke all that had been achieved by India in its war against terror through years of hard work with the international community, and bilaterally with Paksitan”.

“On the basis of reports emanating from Pakistan’s responsible quarters, it appears that India has, through back channels, given a non-paper to Pakistan, making suggestions for the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir issue.

“The Government of India has not taken Parliament and the people of India into confidence on the contents of this non-paper,” he said.

“However, according to Pakistani sources, it contains suggestions for joint control over Jammu and Kashmir. Is this joint mechanism suggested by India at Havana the first step towards that joint control? Are unseen powers pushing India towards a solution that India has rejected all along?

“Is the Prime Minister of India acting under the pressure of the Left parties in India, who seem to have made a common cause with these unseen powers on this issue?

“Or is it petty vote-bank politics which has persuaded the Prime Minister to negate all that India, even under his own government, has said and stood for on the question of cross-border terrorism?” Mr Sinha asked.

Mr Sinha said the party “totally disagreed” with the latest approach of the Government regarding the peace process even as cross-border terrorism continued to emanate from the Pakistani side.

He said in the joint Press statement issued in January 2004, when the then Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, had visited Islamabad, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf had assured the visiting dignitary that he would not permit any territory under Pakistani control to be used to support terrorism in any manner.

“However, after the Congress-led UPA came to power in May 2004, instead of carrying forward the gains, the government adopted a soft approach towards cross-border terrorism promoted by Pakistan,” Mr Sinha added.

He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh instead issued a joint statement in April last year which said that India and Pakistan would not allow terrorism to impede the peace process.

“This offered a carte blanche to terrorists in Pakistan to carry on their activities merrily,” he pointed out and criticised the Government’s decision to resume secretary-level talks at the earliest that had been called off after Mumbai and Malegoan blasts.

“We completely disagree with this decision. The Prime Minister is happy that General Musharraf promised to work together in future without going into the past. This is naivety at its worst,” he added.

Mr Sinha was giving a briefing on the meeting of senior BJP leaders at Mr Vajpayee’s residence yesterday evening. It was also attended by Mr L.K. Advani, Mr Jaswant Singh and Mr Arun Shourie.

Asserting that the joint mechanism to resolve all issues was bound to fail even before it takes off, he said India had shared evidence indicating Pakistani involvement in terrorist acts and also that the government of the neighbouring country provided infrastructure to perpetrators of terrorism.

He said focussing on the issues of Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek in the statement at Havana was uncalled for as they were covered under the composite dialogue process.

“Siachen issue must be tackled with great caution and the concerns of the Army taken fully into account,” he added.

Mr Sinha said cross-border terrorism and the dialogue process could not go simultaneously and the resumption of Foreign Secretary-level talks in view of increased violence was not acceptable to the BJP.

The BJP leader expressed surprise that Dr Manmohan Singh had accepted General Musharraf’s view that Pakistan too was a victim of terror.

“The perpetrators of cross-border terrorism has been coopted through this joint statement as a partner in the fight against terror. The distinction between the aggressor and the victim of aggression has been done away with,” he added.

He alleged that Pakistan was actively sensing an “excellent opportunity” to raise non-issues like India’s involvement in Baluchistan.



LeT module busted

Ahmedabad, September 19
The Gujarat Police today claimed to have busted a sleeper cell module of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), spread across several states, with the arrest of four suspected terrorists, a senior police official said.

Several documents, including literature in Urdu and the letter pad of the banned outfit as well as numerous CDs and a computer were seized during the arrests made yesterday and today, Deputy Commissioner of police (crime) Manoj Shashidhar told reporters. — PTI



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