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26/11: 'UPA is losing grip of the situation'

December 20, 2008 11:10 IST

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Accusing the ruling United Progressive Alliance of losing grip of the situation in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks, the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has suggested that the government should call off composite dialogue with Pakistan as that country has not responded adequately to India's demands.

BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said the government seemed to lack 'cohesion' of thinking as senior ministers were speaking in different voices on the issue of dealing with Pakistan.

The former External Affairs Minister said New Delhi [Images] should build pressure on Islamabad [Images] by sending high-level political emissaries to various countries, besides the US and UK, with 'incontrovertible' proof of involvement of Pakistani elements in the Mumbai attacks.

'Not judging between strength and weakness, somewhere the grip seems to have loosened over the last few days. Our government seems to speaking in different voices,' Sinha told Karan Thapar in the interview Devil's Advocate on CNN-IBN.

'We heard the External Affairs Minister (Pranab Mukherjee) say one thing, Defence minister (A K Antony) say another thing on the same day (on dealing with Pakistan). I think it will be better if there was unity and cohesion within the spokespersons of the government,' he added.

He said the ministers should discuss more among themselves and 'come to a clear conclusion. There is lack of cohesion in thinking'.

On how to deal with Pakistan, he said if his party were in power, it would have opted to 'call off the composite dialogue' rather than putting a 'pause' as has been done by the UPA government.

Making it clear that his party was not satisfied with the measures taken by Islamabad to meet New Delhi's demands for curbing terrorism, Sinha said, 'Well, Pakistan has taken some steps but clearly Pakistan is not doing enough. I think what Pakistan has done is most inadequate if not eye-wash.'

When asked if it wasn't enough for the government to rope in the US and UK to build pressure on Pakistan, the BJP leader suggested that the government should have approached other countries too.

'It is alright to rope in US and UK but I would prefer the government to send out emissaries to all important capitals of the world. Why should we ignore Paris, Berlin and many other capitals,' Sinha said.

He said India should send high level political emissaries to important capitals of the world with 'incontrovertible evidence of the involvement of Pakistan and even taken them on board on our side'.

When asked if he or his party leader L K Advani [Images] would have accepted to be such an emissary, he said, 'I think we would have certainly taken up this national duty.'

The saffron party feels that the UPA was wrong to restrict itself in fixing responsibility merely on the 'elements of Pakistan'.

He said if BJP were in power it would have held ISI as also the government of Pakistan responsible.

Commenting on US President-elect Barack Obama's [Images] reported intention to mediate on Kashmir issue, Sinha said any such initiative would not be acceptable to India.

'We should discourage and strongly discourage any attempt by anyone, including President-elect (Barack) Obama, to dabble into the issue of Jammu and Kashmir [Images],' Sinha said.

When asked if BJP's views would remain the same if it comes to power after the general elections, he said, 'I am making it crystal clear today that no mediation by any envoy is acceptable to India.'

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