India soft on Pakistan, say Advani, security experts

January 24th, 2009 - 10:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Jan 24 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani and a select group of security experts feel that India adopted the “mildest” response to Pakistan after the Mumbai terrorist attacks and it was not befitting an “emerging global player”, the party said Saturday. According to a BJP statement, the participants in the closed-door meeting at Advani’s residence Saturday said that “after Mumbai, any self-respecting government would have adopted a much more robust response” - referring to the terror strikes in that city in November.

Such a response “alone could compel Pakistan to not only bring to book those behind the incident but also to wind up the infrastructure of terror (in that country),” it said.

The statement said the participants felt that despite “Pakistan’s involvement” in several terror strikes in India during the last three years, the government had adopted a soft policy. “(This) inevitably led to the Mumbai action.”

The BJP statement listed out measures that the government should initiate to improve internal security situation. Among them is a “blueprint” proposed by Advani for security reforms containing 350 recommendations on intelligence, higher defence management, internal security and border management.

The statement did not clarify if the experts also agreed with Advani’s “blueprint”.

The meeting was attended by 35 people, including 14 retired defence officials and 13 retired civil servants.

Party leaders Rajnath Singh, Arun Shourie and Arun Jaitely participated in the discussion. Former chiefs of air staff, Air Chief Marshals A.Y. Tipnis, S. Krishnaswami and S.P. Tyagi, and former chief of naval staff Admiral Arun Prakash, were among the retired defence officials.

Among former civil servants at the meeting were home secretary Anil Baijal, defence secretary Yogendra Narain and director of Intelligence Bureau Ajit Doval.

Journalists M.J. Akbar, Chandan Mitra, Swapan Dasgupta and Brahma Chellaney were also present.

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