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NDA appeals to President on joint statement issue

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
July 28, 2009 15:52 IST
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Leader of opposition L K Advani on Tuesday led a delegation of 146 members of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance and met President Pratibha Devisingh Patil to intervene in the row triggered by the joint-statement issued after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani at Sharm-el Sheikh, Egypt -- wherein the issue of Baluchsitan was mentioned for the first time.

"We are constrained to approach you on a matter of national concern. Little did the country expected that within weeks of returning to power, the United Progressive Alliance government headed by Manmohan Singh will completely reverse India's strategic and foreign policy position, much to the detriment of the nation," Advani said in his opening remark.

Amongst those who were present during the audience with President included NDA acting-convenor Sharad Yadav, BJP president Rajnath Singh, senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, and Rattan Singh Ajnala of Shiromani Akali Dal, among others.

Advani pointed out to President that Pakistan has been using the joint-statement to convince its people and the world at large that India was fomenting trouble in Baluchistan.

"Prime minister Gilani's statement two days after the joint-statement was issued affirms this," he said.

According to Advani, the inclusion of Baluchistan in the Indo-Pak dialogue was nothing short of a 'blatant and monumental blunder.'

He lashed out to Dr Singh's insistence that composite dialogue was the only way forward.

"Action on terrorism should not be linked to the composite dialogue process and they should not be bracketed," Advani told President.

He asked her to use her good offices and try to save India and its position.

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi