BJP questions inclusion of Balochistan in India-Pakistan statement


"Why did you (the government) include Balochistan in the joint declaration? On what basis, for what objectives, for what concern unless to give some kind of expression that India is also behind some kind of trouble in Balochistan," asked BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad.

"By one stroke you have given some kind of culpable legitimacy to the government of Pakistan to allege in the international forum that India foments problems in Balochistan,” he charged.

Prasad said the joint statement, signed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani in Sharm-el-Sheikh, will have a long term impact on India's prestige in the international community.

"We feel very sorry. It will have long term implications on our reputation and prestige in the world,” Prasad told reporters.

Earlier, faced with criticism for including Balochistan in the declaration, Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon had said that India had nothing to hide on the issue and was ready to talk.

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