Put ISI on international watch list: BJP

May 15th, 2008 - 8:47 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, May 15 (IANS) India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday demanded that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) be put on the watch list of the international community “for fomenting divisive activities in this country”. “The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government should make immediate diplomatic efforts to put ISI on the international watch,” BJP president Rajnath Singh said in a statement.

The BJP chief was commenting on the serial blasts in Jaipur Tuesday evening which left at least 61 people dead and 216 injured.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will travel to Islamabad to hold talks with his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi May 21. The foreign secretaries of the two countries will meet the day before.

Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon Wednesday made it clear that terrorism was back on the agenda for talks with Pakistan.

However, so far India has not blamed Pakistan or any other country for the Jaipur blasts.

In the wake of the Jaipur blasts, BJP has mounted a frontal attacked on the Manmohan Singh government for its alleged soft stance on terrorism.

The party has been ruling Rajasthan, of which Jaipur is the capital, for nearly four and a half years.

“The existence of over 500 sleeper modules operated directly and indirectly by the ISI in almost all parts of the country is a clear indication that India is virtually sitting on a tinder box,” Singh said.

Accusing the Congress of playing divisive politics, Singh quoted a recently released report on global terrorism by the US Department of State, which said 2,300 people were killed in terror attacks in India in 2007 - nearly 10 percent of 22,685 people killed by terrorists in the world during the period.

BJP’s spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters that Mukherjee must raise India’s concerns on terrorism with his Pakistani counterpart during their talks in Islamabad.

“At the same time, the government must evolve a mechanism to share credible intelligence inputs with the states to avert terror attacks. The centre and states must work in tandem to deal with terrorism, the biggest challenge the country is facing.”

The party spokesperson said the government had strengthened the morale of terrorists by withdrawing the Prevention of Terror Act (POTA).

“A stern mechanism is required to deal with terrorism. They are now targeting the country’s centres of economy like Jaipur, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad,” Prasad said.

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