Only Congress can deal with terror decisively, says party manifesto

March 24th, 2009 - 5:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) India’s ruling Congress Tuesday underlined its commitment to an independent foreign policy and claimed that it was the only party that could deal with terrorism “decisively and squarely” without weakening the social fabric.
Attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) “muscular” foreign policy, the Congress also claimed that its United Progressive Alliance government mounted a forceful diplomatic campaign that led to Pakistan admitting for the first time that Pakistani citizens were responsible for the Nov 26, 2008 Mumbai attacks.

“That admission was a notable victory for our well thought out foreign policy,” the Congress said in its manifesto that was unveiled by Congress president Sonia Gandhi at the party headquarters.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and other senior Congress leaders were also present.

In a bid to steal the thunder from the BJP over the terrorism issue, the party’s manifesto said: “It is only the Indian National Congress that can deal with the scourge of terrorism squarely and decisively but without weakening the delicate strands that have, together, bound our society for centuries.”

“Let it be very clear - terrorism must be fought relentlessly, intelligently and wisely, and without fear or favour,” the manifesto stated.

“Terrorism can be fought only by a united people, not by a people divided by religion. Religious polarization that is intrinsic to the BJP severely erodes our capacity to combat terrorism,” the party said.

“Dealing with terrorism aided and abetted from across our borders does not require a ‘muscular’ foreign policy as advocated by the BJP. The country knows the heavy price that was paid for such a ‘muscular’ foreign policy - stupor in Kargil, surrender in Kandahar and stalemate in Operation Parakram,” the manifesto said.

The party also repudiated its opponents who accused it of compromising an independent foreign policy and underscored its commitment to defending the country’s interests in its engagement with the world.

“We will continue to pursue an independent, pro-India foreign policy. The Indian National Congress has always upheld India’s supreme national interests and has often braved criticism and opposition both at home and abroad in defending the country’s interests.”

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