India has reversed position on terrorism, accuses BJP


BJP leader Yashwant Sinha

Initiating a debate on the 'Issues arising out of Prime Minister's recent visits to foreign countries', BJP leader Yashwant Sinha also targeted the government over denial by the US to transfer enrichment and reprocessing technology, End User Agreement in defence field and climate change.

"The Prime Minister has broken all the pledges he made to both Houses of Parliament as also to the country," the former External Affairs Minister said.

Taking a swipe at Singh, he said the Prime Minister had stated that he would walk more than half the way to make peace "but he has walked all the way to Pakistani camp".

The comment evoked angry protests by Congress members, with Adhir Choudhary raising point of order and demanding deletion of the "defamatory" reference.

Sinha faulted the Prime Minister on the Indo-Pak Joint Statement issued in Sharm-el Sheikh after Singh's talks with his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani and said it marked "complete turnaround" of India's position on terrorism.

Alleging that the government had committed the "dangerous blunder" in the short span of time, Sinha posed four specific questions to Singh.

He asked whether the trust deficit between India and Pakistan had widened or narrowed down after the joint statement.

He also wanted the Prime Minister to spell out "what changed" between June 16 when Singh gave a tough message to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari during their meeting in Yekaterinburg in Russia and his meeting with Gilani.

The BJP leader also asked Singh to say "what brought about complete change of stance" in Sharm-el Sheikh.

He referred to the Indo-Pak joint statement of April 2, 2005 which said the peace process is "irreversible" and asked Singh to state whether he still held that view.

Sinha also asked Singh to say what had been achieved from the Joint Anti-Terror Mechanism set up with Pakistan in September 2006.

Referring to the mention of Balochistan in the joint statement, the BJP leader asked "why on earth did Balochistan find mention?"

Attacking the Prime Minister on his remark that "we have nothing to hide", Sinha said "we have nothing to hide on so many things, does that mean we will include them in joint documents?"

Contending that Pakistan would now rake up the matter, he said "I warn that Balochistan is going to give lot of trouble to us. At international fora, Pakistani representatives will raise the issue and we will have to face embarrassment."

Sinha said the Indo-Pak joint statement had compromised India's position on terror and Balochistan.

"All waters of Neptune will not wash the shame of Sharm-el Sheikh," he said amid cries of 'shame' and 'shocking' by the opposition members.

"History of Indo-Pak relations did not start in 2004 when you became the Prime Minister but it goes back much in time. If you ignore all ups and downs witnessed in the history of Indo-Pak ties, there will be no success," Sinha said.

He said, "the four issues on which our foreign policy is based came down like Metro pillar. A concrete pillar can be erected again but if the pillars of foreign policy crumble, it is not possible to erect them again".

Sinha said the Government should also make its position clear on climate change, observing that if India accepts the peaking order, then its per capita emissions would be restricted to three tonnes while in the US it is 20 tonnes.

Asking the government not to agree to the caps, Sinha said, if the Government bends "then we will make it a big issue".

He also asked the Prime Minister to make his position clear on the nuclear deal and the end-user agreement signed with the US.

On the nuclear deal, he said all pledges given to both Houses of Parliament have been broken by the Prime Minister.

P C Chacko (Cong) said the NDA government was not bold enough to speak the language of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on issues of foreign policy.

He said the then Home Minister L K Advani was not aware of developments in Agra where then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf were holding talks. To this, Yashwant Sinha objected and said no such development had taken place.

Chacko said the mention of Balochistan in the joint declaration signed by India and Pakistan would have no effect on the country. "There is no mention of Kashmir...Balochistan will not affect us," he added.

Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP) suggested the Prime Minister to "dump" the joint declaration. He accused the government of a "turnaround" on its policy towards Pakistan after the Mumbai terror strikes.

"You had said there would be no talks with Pakistan till perpetrators of the attacks were held. Now you have agreed for talks. I want you to explain the basis of this change of stand," he said.

He lamented that while India wins wars against Pakistan, it loses when it comes to talks with Islamabad.

The former Defence Minister said "poor will-power" to fight terror had made Pakistan daring in its designs against India. He also reminded the House that "Pakistan cannot forget its defeat in the 1971 conflict...and if it (Pakistan) becomes our friend, we will garland you (the Prime Minister)," he added.

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