Monday, February 8, 2010


8 Feb 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: Veteran Bhartiya Janata Party leader Lal Krishna Advani on Monday asked whether the government's U-turn to hold talks with Pakistan was the upshot of "a powerful nudge from Washington." He also warned against any deal on Kashmir that breaches the Lok Sabha's unanimous resolution of February 22, 1994 on Jammu and Kashmir.

His poser particularly on Kashmir indicates that he is privy to some kind of indication given to him on this score by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while unsuccessfully seeking the main opposition BJP's support for resumption of talks with Islamabad.

Advani has, however, not spelled out such an indication, if any, in a 2-page statement issued here. Instead, he has traced his fears to President Barack Obama talking of "working with Pakistan and India to try to resolve the Kashmir crisis in a serious way" during 2008 election campaign as one of the critical tasks of his administration.

He noted that the government's sudden willingness announced last week to hold the foreign secretary-level parleys with Pakistan has made many political analysts in the country ask: "Is this the consequence of Obama's above assertion being put into action?

Little wonder, Advani said, that Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani last Friday boasted that international pressure has forced India to return to the negotiating table. He asked if there was otherwise any other reason for holding talks, reversing India's steadfast stand after 26/11 against resumption of talks until Islamabad brings those behind the Mumbai attacks to justice and cracks down on terrorist groups operating from its soil.

Advani has also re-produced the page-long Lok Sabha unanimous resolution to assert how categorical and unambiguous it is at a time when Pakistan is gloating over the UPA government's volte face on the isue of Indo-Pak dialogue.

He noted that the resolution expresses deep concern over Pakistan's role in Jammu and Kashmir at the very start "in imparting training to terrorists in camps located in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, supply of weapons and funds, assistance in infiltration of trained militants, including foreign mercenaries into Jammu and Kashmir with the avowed purpose of creating disorder, disharmony and subversion."

The resolution condemned Pakistan for continued support and encouragement to subversive and terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir, declaring that Jammu and Kashmir has been, is and shall be an integral part of India and Pakistan must vacate the areas of the state it has occupied through aggression.


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