The BJP on Tuesday asked the government to clarify whether January 2004 accord with Pakistan or the recent Sharm-el-Sheikh declaration would be the basis of renewed talks with that country and suggested caution as the neighbour continued to "sponsor terror".
"A new round of discussions between India and Pakistan are set to begin. We want to ask the government the basis of talks between the External Affairs Ministers of the two countries. Whether it will be based on the January 6, 2004 accord or the recent Sharm-el-Sheikh agreement," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
The main opposition maintains that the basis of talks should be the 2004 accord between Prime Minister A B Vajpayee and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, in which the neighbouring country promised not to allow its soil to be used for terror activities against India.
As per a decision taken today, home ministers of the two countries will hold talks on June 26 while External Affairs Minister S M Krishna will meet his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Islamabad on July 15.
Javadekar insisted that talks should not be "delinked or de-hyphenated" from terrorism even if this was not a composite dialogue.
He sought a clarification from the government on whether talks will be based on the Sharm-el-Sheikh agreement "where Pakistan could derive a statement from India that it has something to do in Balochistan".
In the wake of today's statement by Qureshi that his teleconference with Krishna was a positive development and good initiative, BJP demanded an explanation from the government whether terrorism had been delinked from the talks.
"Government had stated in Parliament that there would be no talks with Pakistan till it takes credible steps in controlling terrorism," he said.
To argue its point, BJP cited the recent statement of Defence Minister A K Antony that infiltration across the India-Pakistan border had increased.
Javadekar said government officials had earlier stated that 44 terrorist training camps were still active across the border in Pakistan.
"Hence, this accelerated pace of discussions needs more explanation from the government. We want to caution the government and ask on what basis these talks will be held," Javadekar said.