BJP wants peace talks with Pakistan suspended (Lead)December 4th, 2008 - 11:07 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 4 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday said it would cooperate with the Congress-led central government if it suspended the peace process with Pakistan following the Mumbai terrorist savagery.BJP leaders Jaswant Singh and Arun Shourie told reporters here that Pakistan had rejected all Indian requests after the Mumbai tragedy and urged the government to initiate stern steps to prevent Pakistan from pursuing its “jehadi terrorism.”
The party had a word of advice for the neighbouring country as well as for the US and the countries under the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
The BJP urged Pakistan not to violate its Jan 6, 2004, commitment given to the party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to disallow its soil from being used by the terrorists.
It simultaneously advised the US and the NATO member countries to see through the fact that “each time you step in to bail it out, you only embolden Pakistan to continue on its destructive course.”
The party said the government must evolve a consensus on the measures it was planning. “The consensus cannot come ex-post facto but from consultation and full sharing of facts,” Jaswant Singh stated.
He said the country had seen 48 terror attacks in 18 cities during the current year and if attacks by the United Liberation Front of Assam and Maoists at other places are to be counted the country lost 2,300 lives in 2007.
This reflected the “gross failure” of the Congress-led central government in protecting the country from the jihadis. “That is why the (Congress-led) United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government must first demonstrate a clarity of assessment, commitment of purpose and a total resolve in this fight for our national security,” Singh stated.
The BJP said it will cooperate with the government in implementing a list of 10 suggestions it had chalked out to fight terrorism.
These include the suspension of the peace process with Pakistan and enactment of the “sternest possible” anti-terrorism laws. The suggestions included a complete overhaul of the central intelligence machinery and enactment of a comprehensive federal security law with a federal security and investigating agency.
Asked if these are conditions to cooperate with the government or suggestions, Jaswant Singh said: “These are suggestions.” When told that they read like conditions, he said: “It is up to you.”
Among other suggestions, Arun Shourie said the government should urge the international community to pressurise Pakistan to adhere to the commitments it made, bilaterally to India and internationally in bodies like the United Nations not to allow its territory to be used to “export terror”.
“Pakistan, the crucible of terrorism, has become its major exporter,” the party said.
The party also wants the government to “effectively communicate the complete facts of this attack (in Mumbai) to the international community through every appropriate forum to ensure “the truth is not obscured by falsehoods perpetrated by the sponsers of terrorism.”
The party’s suggestions include enabling all states to have uniform anti-terrorism laws and clearance to all such pending legislations passed by the state assemblies.
Setting up a new police reform commission, handing over the Coast Guards to the Indian Navy and introduction of a new code for the media during national emergencies are among other suggestions of the BJP.
Indicating that it was better placed to rule the country, a party statement said: ” The BJP believes the ultimate solution only lies with the people. They must ensure that power rests in the hands of those persons who will always place the interests of our country above all and will never barter them for electoral gains.”