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Gilani welcome for match, not dialogue: Advani

Last updated on: March 28, 2011 21:40 IST

Gilani welcome for match, not dialogue: Advani

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N Ganesh in Mumbai
Bharatiya Janata Party patriarch LK Advani on Monday opposed a formal dialogue with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who will attend the World Cup semi-final clash between India and Pakistan on Wednesday with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

"Inviting Pakistan PM for a cricket match is good for engagement, but it does not mean that India starts a formal dialogue. The situation in Pakistan has turned from bad to worse and even Pervez Musharraf has admitted that Pakistan has become a dangerous country. Till there is no zero tolerance towards terrorism from Pakistan there should be no dialogue with them," said Advani while interacting with the media during his visit to Mumbai on Monday.

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Image: BJP leader LK Advani at a meet in Mumbai
Photographs: Sahil Salvi/Rediff.com
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'There should be no people-to-people connect between India, Pak'

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Advani said that besides the interaction between the two countries there should be no people-to-people connect. He recalled that during the Bharatiya Janata Party rule when Nawaz Sharif was ousted as the Pakistan prime minister by Musharraf, he (Advani) had convinced the then Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee to invite Musharraf to India.

"I am not revealing a secret; it was my decision to invite Musharraf to Agra. In the meeting with Musharraf also we insisted that the terror infrastructure should be dismantled and then we should start dialogue. We still maintain this stand," said Advani.
  


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'Duty more important that birthright to become PM'

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In a reply to Dr Singh's barb that Advani considers his birthright to become a PM, the BJP leader said, "Duty is much more important than the birthright to become the prime minister."

Taking a dig at the United Progressive Alliance-2, Advani said that when the government comes back to power, it enjoys a good reputation for at least three years. Criticism comes only in later years of the government. "The reputation of UPA 2 was sullied months after it was re-elected. Everyone is talking about corruption today," he added.

Image: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh

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'1984 Sikh riots worst than Gujarat'

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The acting chairman of National Democratic Alliance said that the 2G spectrum scam unified the entire opposition on the issue of the Joint Parliamentary Committee.

On the Gujarat communal riots, he said that though riots cannot be justified as a party they were not going to seek for forgiveness from anybody. "If anyone has done wrong in 2002 they would be judged by the courts," he said and alluded that the 1984 anti-Sikh riots were much worse and labelled it as a carnage.
   

Image: A protestor participates in a rally condenming the 1984 Sikh riots in Amritsar
Photographs: Reuters
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