Stateless freelancers in terror central

via Press Release published on December 24, 2008

Resolution Adopted at the Meeting of the BJP National Office Bearers

It is indeed a matter of great irony that the UPA and the Congress Party singularly failed in keeping together the national resolve in the fight against terror by remaining indecisive and politically paralysed in handling the unwarranted, totally uncalled for and irresponsible outburst by a senior member of the Union Cabinet Mr A R Antulay which raised unnecessary doubts about the killing of senior Police officials by terrorists in Mumbai. Everyone was aware that all officers, policemen and other innocents who were killed in the Mumbai 26/11 incident were killed only by Pakistani terrorists. This is a fact beyond all doubt which the government itself acknowledged in Parliament. Yet, neither Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, nor UPA Chairperson Smt Sonia Gandhi could muster the courage to sack Mr Anutaly for what had become a national shame. His outburst and charges about an implicit conspiracy behind the killing of these officers only gladdened the hearts of those in Pakistan who sponsored and perpetrated this heinous terrorist incident. We were witness to a very strange scenario wherein the Congress spokesperson disassociated the party from Mr Antulay’s stand, the General Secretary and senior leader of the Congress Mr Digvijay Singh could see nothing wrong in what Mr Antulay said, and Mr Antulay himself remained defiant till the last, much to Pakistan’s glee; that he has said nothing wrong. All this when the Maharashtra Chief Minister and Police refuted what Mr Antulay had said. It was evident that the compulsions of vote bank politics paralysed the Congress once again despite great national cost and prestige. Taking a tough position externally relating to Pakistan and meekly surrendering before vote bank politics domestically cannot go hand in hand. The BJP demands that Mr A R Antulay be sacked and the Congress apologize to the nation for this. If Dr Manmohan Singh cannot firmly deal with an “erring” Cabinet Minister Mr Antulay, to what extent can he be expected to deal firmly against terror.

It is amazing that finally the terror attack in Mumbai by ten Pakistani terrorists forced a reluctant UPA government to realise the compelling need to have a tough law against terror. This by a government which claimed repeal of POTA as one of its biggest political achievements and had consistently rejected the need for such law despite repeated demands by security forces in the face of recurrent terrorist attacks. The BJP, though not fully satisfied with some of the glaring shortcomings, has yet supported these measures. It is indeed ironic that tougher provisions under a host of other laws including presumptions, strong bail provisions and admissibility of evidence, is acceptable but making confessions before superior police officers as admissible evidence, is so strongly opposed in anti-terror laws forgetting completely that such provisions in POTA and TADA have been successful in unearthing terrorist conspiracies and securing convictions. How can a polity unwilling to repose complete faith in its senior police officers against a foreign terrorist expect a policeman to lay down his life to protect it? Terrorism being aided, abetted and sponsored from across the border, is an attack on India and cannot be defeated in the absence of an incomplete resolve. The BJP demands that India should not be seen as unwilling or reluctant in the fight against terror. The BJP will fully support the steps taken by the government to fight terror but is the government clear about what it wants to do? However, the Antulay episode unfortunately reinforces once again the disturbing fact that the UPA’s DNA to fight terror is still suspect.

Pakistan true to its past record, continues to be in a state of total denial that the entire conspiracy about Mumbai terrorist attack did not emanate from its soil. This is patent falsehood. In spite of voluminous evidence about Pakistani origin of the terrorists, instead of taking action as required and committed to, in the bilateral agreement of January 6, 2004 between the then Prime Minister Shri A B Vajpayee and the then President Pervez Musharraf; Pakistan has shown its true colours. First, the terrorist is described as a “non-state actor” then he becomes a “stateless actor” and finally he described as a “freelancer”. Who is controlling Pakistan; the civilian government, the Army or, the ISI which is the patron of most of the terror outfits operating from Pakistan? The international community needs to know that Pakistan today is the epicentre of world terror in as much as any terrorist attack anywhere in the world has some definite Pakistan linkage. If Pakistan is not willing to deliver and take requisite tough action, India must consider all options without resorting to any hype and senior Ministers of the cabinet must speak in one voice. The Prime Minister, External Affairs Minister and Defence Minister in the last few days have certainly not appeared to have spoken in the same tenor. The BJP calls for immediately stopping all the bilateral engagements with Pakistan including illusionary peace and trade talks. The illusion entertained by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh that Pakistan is also a victim of terror and there must be a joint mechanism of investigation has already caused enough damage to us.

It is very important equally to take stern action against all those who aid and abet the infrastructure of terror inside the country. The involvement of Bangladeshi infiltrators keeps on appearing with alarming regularity in many of the terrorist attacks in different parts of the country. The Supreme Court has also described the massive infiltration of Bangladeshis in Assam as an aggression on India. It is high time that the entire country takes a united resolve to evict all these elements by rising above vote bank politics. This indeed is the need of the hour. The infiltrators in various parts of the country particularly in Assam and the north east region must be detected and deported at the earliest.

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