Counter-terror strategy, Pakistan policy can’t be separated: BJP (Lead)

August 3rd, 2011 - 10:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Aug 3 (IANS) Calling for a national consensus in the fight against terrorism, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ravi Shankar Prasad Wednesday said the country’s policy with Pakistan cannot be segregated from its counter-terrorism strategy.

Participating in a short duration discussion in the Rajya Sabha on “the situation arising out of growing incidents of terrorism in the country with special reference to recent blasts in Mumbai”, Prasad said conspirators have not been caught in several terror cases in the country.

Pointing to the triple blasts in Mumbai last month, Prasad said terrorists had tried to show that they could strike at will. “They tried to show that they are there, Maharashtra police is weak and they can place bombs when they want,” Prasad said.

Pointing to Pakistan intelligence agency ISI, Prasad said it wants to destabilise India.

“Your government has to realise that policy with Pakistan and counter-terrorism strategy cannot be segregated,” he said.

He said if India’s neighbourhood was troubled, there was need to be prepared for tough action.

The BJP leader said that the trial of accused in the 26/11 cases had hardly made any progress in the neighbouring country despite the government exchanging dossiers.

He also said that associating terrorists with any particular religion was wrong.

“When debating on terrorism, why do we appear so divided,” he said.

Without naming Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, Prasad said he had raised questions over the Batla house encounter in Delhi and was quick to make comments after terror attacks.

Pointing to the delay in the execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, Prasad asked Home Minister P. Chidambaram to tell him the rule which said that the convicts had to be hanged in a sequential order.

“Are not court cases fast tracked,” he said.

Prasad also said the government had admitted after the Mumbai attacks that there was no intelligence input.

He also said that there was a turf battle between intelligence agencies and claimed there had been an attempt to break the morale of the Intelligence Bureau.

Prasad said the government’s decision to repeal POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) had not helped the cause of fighting terrorism.

Shiv Sena member Manohar Joshi accused the government of being weak in its fight against terrorism.

He said there was need to go to the root cause and find out where the terrorists were coming from.

He said if there were terror camps, the country should be able to take action against them.

Congress member Shantaram Naik said there were several definitions of terrorism including state sponsored terrorism.

Making a veiled reference to BJP-ruled Gujarat in the context of 2002 riots in which the Modi government has faced allegations of complicity, he said “there was a government of a state in our country which belongs to an opposition party.” “Nobody speaks of that terrorist,” he said.

Referring to involvement of right wing groups in terror attacks, Naik said there was urgent need to control such tendencies.

He said 50-60 percent terror terror attacks “will be over if you control these people”.

Naik made references to assassins of Mahatma Gandhi but BJP member S.S. Ahluwalia objected to the remarks and said that these were beyond the scope of the discussion.

P.J. Kurien, who was in the chair, said he would expunge any objectionable references.

The discussion remained inconclusive. Home Minister P. Chidambaram is expected to reply to the discussion Thursday.

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