Advani criticises govt's Pak policy

“New Delhi’s Pakistan policy is really in a shambles,” the former deputy prime minister wrote on his blog.

He pointed out that a vital touchstone for judging the government’s handling of foreign affairs has been the approach to its western neighbour.

Advani said the prime purpose of India’s Pakistan policy must be to force “this neighbour of ours to abandon terrorism.” He recalled the “uncompromising” stand of the BJP-led government on cross-border terrorism that had forced the then Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf to return “empty-handed” from the Agra Summit in July 2001.

“Starting with the prime minister’s blunder at Sharm-el- Sheikh when he announced delinking the Indo-Pak dialogue from Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism, to the external affairs minister’s recent performance in Pakistan, never before has India’s Pakistan policy been so completely alienated from the public opinion as it is today,” he wrote.

Advani expressed surprise at External Affairs Minister S M Krishna ignoring his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s attempts at bracketing Home Secretary G K Pillai with Jamaat-ud-Dawa Hafeez Saeed.

“Our own minister added injury to the Pakistani insult by publicly admonishing Pillai not for any fault of his but for the signal service he had rendered the country by exposing the ISI’s role in the 26/11 terrorist attack on Mumbai,” Advani wrote.

He said it was BJP’s “firm stand that made the General (Musharraf) ultimately discard his Agra attitude and at Islamabad in January 2004 sign a joint statement with Vajpayee that ‘he will not permit any territory under Pakistan’s control to be used to support terrorism in any manner, ’ ” Advani said.

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