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'Indo-Pak joint statement a huge blow to foreign policy'

August 01, 2009 22:31 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday said the United Progressive Alliance government had dealt a "huge blow" to the basic tenets of the country's foreign policy by delinking terror from talks with Pakistan and asked it come out with a "contingency plan to undo the damage."

Continuing to target the government on the joint statement issued at Sharm-el Sheikh in Egypt, BJP president Rajnath Singh said, "The UPA government has dealt a huge blow to the basic tenets of our national foreign policy by delinking talks from terror and allowing Pakistan to accuse India of interference in Balochistan."

"The UPA government should immediately stop shifting goalposts and come up with a contingency plan to undo the damage done to fundamentals of India's diplomacy and foreign policy," he told mediapersons in Bengaluru.

Asked whether references to Balochistan and delinking terror from talks with Pakistan in the joint statement were made under "international pressure", he said "this possibility cannot be ruled out."

"Our government is under pressure from the United States due to Indo-US nuclear pact," he said to a pointed query whether the pressure could be from the US. He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement in Parliament on the joint statement was not only "inadequate and vague" but even failed to address key concerns expressed by the BJP and other parties.

Asked to elaborate what contingency measures BJP would suggest, Singh said, "The government should decide it in consultation with the opposition parties."

Singh said India should ask Pakistan to honour the commitment made by the then President Pervez Musharraf on January 6, 2004 that there will be no composite dialogue till terrorism was wiped out.

He claimed that the Congress did not support the Prime Minister on the joint statement but backed only the statement made in Parliament.

Earlier, inaugurating a two-day executive committee meeting of the party's Karnataka unit, he asked the government not to initiate confidence building measures with Pakistan until it stopped terrorism targeted at India from its soil.

Singh, who is chairing the meeting that will debate organisational issues, formulation of a strategy for the August 18 by-election in five assembly constituencies in Karnataka and fissures in the one year-old B S Yeddyurappa government, told partymen that the party will not deviate from the path of its ideology.

"Win or loss, we will not deviate from our path. We will not compromise on Hindutva and cultural identity," he declared. Attacking the UPA government for its "failure" to check price rise and the hike in prices of petrol and diesel, Singh demanded that the government develop a mechanism to regulate prices of petroleum products so that the common man was not hit hard.

"Due to confused policy of the UPA government, our economy is under pressure and our diplomacy, security and sovereignty in a disarray," he charged.

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