Terror, dialogue can’t co-exist: BJP

via Pioneer News Service | New Delhi published on February 14, 2010

Slamming the UPA Government’s Pakistan policy, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday said terror and talks could not co-exist. Asking the Centre to call off the February 25 Foreign Secretary-level dialogue with Pakistan, the BJP said it should also rethink the new surrender policy for PoK terrorists.

“The BJP urges the Government to reconsider both these steps — resuming the dialogue with Pakistan and allowing militants from PoK to return to Kashmir. Terror and talks cannot co-exist. When terror threatens India, not talking is a legitimate diplomatic option,” Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley told reporters here on Sunday.

The BJP has been consistently opposing the Indian initiative to resume dialogue with Pakistan because “nothing has changed” in its neighbour’s attitude since the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

“As long as the terror infrastructure in Pakistan is not dismantled and Pakistan does not stop sponsoring terror from its soil, composite dialogue should not resume,” Jaitley said, criticising the UPA Government for not taking the “nation, Parliament or even the Congress” into confidence before deciding on the resumption of dialogue.

The Opposition was also critical of the Government for announcing “ill-conceived and adventurist steps” like allowing persons from PoK to return to Kashmir. “It is legitimising infiltration while the recommencement of dialogue with Pakistan has made Pakistani leaders and jihadi groups more belligerent,” Jaitley said.

“The BJP condemns Saturday’s bomb blast in Pune. There seems no doubt that it is a terrorist attack,” Jaitley said, adding, “What has happened in Pune is a grim reminder to all of us about the fragility of our security and the adventurist traps we are walking into.”

The party’s core group — comprising LK Advani, president Nitin Gadkari, leaders of the Opposition in Parliament Arun Jaitley (Rajya Sabha) and Sushma Swaraj (Lok Sabha) and other senior leaders — met at the BJP headquarters on Sunday morning and took stock of the situation.

Jaitley said the blast established that those inimical to India were continuing their war against the country. “The citizens will not accept India as a soft state. The Government must seriously introspect whether our intelligence collection and security responses are still inadequate. How can a place visited by David Headley still remain unprotected?” he asked.

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