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Be mindful of national security during talks: BJP
February 27, 2006 18:13 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday decried the United Progressive Alliance government's ''inability to foster confidence among the people that India was pursuing an independent line on policy matters,'' and told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to be mindful of national consensus while negotiating issues concerning national security and energy security.
Expressing his concern about the ''unnecessary secrecy'' shrouding US President George Bush's trip to India, BJP President Rajnath Singh, in a letter to the Prime Minister, said though the BJP welcomed Mr Bush's visit, the party was concerned about the lack of clarity on his agenda.
Noting that Mr Bush's visit will provide an opportunity to explain to the US policymakers the importance of India and appreciate India's concern in fighting terrorism but the government had not cared to keep the NDA, the major opposition group in Parliament, informed on issues concerning national interest.
''We regard this lack of transparency a major lapse of the Government,'' Mr Singh said.
He said the BJP expected Dr Singh to uphold sovereignty and dignity of India while discussing vital issues having a bearing on national security and energy security. ''When negotiating these issues we expect you to mindful of parameters of national consensus,'' the BJP President told the PM.
The BJP president said no India-US understanding on nuclear issue would be acceptable unless they factor the dynamics of a credible effective nuclear deterrence as determined by India and accepts India's status as an independent nuclear power. The BJP was also concerned about suggestions to the effect that the U S could play the 'mediatory role' in resolving India's conflict with Pakistan.
''There is a national consensus against any third party mediation and redrawing of national boundaries,'' Mr Singh reminded the PM.
Asserting that the core issue for resolving Jammu and Kashmir should be terrorism and not status of the Valley, BJP spokesman Professor Vijay Kumar Malhotra said that the US had not laid the same level of stress on India's concerns for countering terrorism.
''Otherwise the US President would have exerted his pressure on Pakistan to end terrorism,'' he said, claiming the help extended to Pakistan was finding its way into facilitiating terrorist groups' activities in India.
Noting that the BJP has opposed the special status offered to J&K right from initial days of formation of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, he recalled that the party founder S P Mukherjee had laid down his life fighting special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir. ''Because of this struggle, the state was now under the jurisdiction of Supreme Court of India and the Election Commission,'' Prof Malhotra said.He said just as the government was having the hurried meetings on issues like the gas pipeline, India's vote at International Atomic Energy Agency meet on Iran and the nuclear cooperation issue it should not give an impression to the country that India was taking steps at the dictates of the US.