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Pak adopting double standards in its fight against terror

H S Rao in London | June 30, 2003 09:46 IST

India has accused Pakistan of adopting double standards in its fight against terrorism.

"You can't have double standards. In the western front our neighbour (Pakistan) is in the forefront in the fight against terrorism, while it has become perpetrator of terrorism in the eastern front," Arun Jaitley, Minister for Law, Justice and Commerce, said in London on Sunday night.

Addressing the annual day function of the British chapter of Overseas Friends of the Bharatiya Janata Party at the SKLP Sports and Community Centre at Northholt, on the outskirts of the city, Jaitley said the age of redrawing geographical map through tactics of terror are over.

BJP president M Venkaiah Naidu cautioned that the headquarters of Taliban was shifting from Afghanistan to Pakistan and said, "That is the greatest threat to peace in the region."

"The Taliban do not believe in democracy. "They want to destroy everything," he said.

Naidu said the Indian government has a two-pronged strategy to deal with the Kashmir issue. On the one hand it wanted to resolve it through dialogue and on the other 'crush terrorism mercilessly'.

About the rapid progress made by India in diverse fields, Jaitley said in terms of GDP growth the country has moved up to the fourth place. "India has a middle class of 350 million to 400 million, larger than the entire population of the UK," he said.

Lord Navnit Dholakia, president of Liberal Democrats, was honoured on the occasion for his contribution to the development of relations between India and Britain. Lord Navnit was the only NRI from Europe to be honoured by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the occasion of the Parvasi Diwas in January this year.

Barry Gardinar, MP, general secretary, Labour Friends of India said, "India, of all countries of the world, has been the single greatest victim of terrorism during the last 25-30 years. India has not only been part of the fight against terrorism, it was central part of terrorism as 60,000 people in Kashmir have been killed as a result of cross-border terrorism."

Piara Singh Khabra, MP, NRI leader, said there has been a sea change in the attitude of the British government towards India during the last one decade.

Khabra said but for the cross-border terrorism, India could have made much greater progress.

Welcoming the peace process initiated by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Khabra said, "If it can be advanced there is nothing like that. If war breaks out, it is disastrous for humanity."

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