The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BJP smells Pakistan mischief mongering

New Delhi, Jan. 21: The BJP has said Pakistan’s efforts to harass Indian diplomat Sudhir Vyas were a “deliberate attempt to violate diplomatic norms and precipitate crisis”.

BJP general-secretary and spokesman Arun Jaitley, briefing the press, linked Vyas’ harassment and the threats of Jammu and Kashmir militants to women to “Pakistan’s frustration with the Kashmiri people having rejected Pakistan’s tactics, and Indian democracy having prevailed during the recent elections”.

Jaitley, asserting there was “no doubt” these threats were being engineered by militant groups “which have roots across the border”, called for a “focussed national response” to the threats. He hoped the external affairs ministry would take the necessary steps. He referred to the diktat of militants ordering women to wear burqas and not step out of the house or take up jobs, and telling Hindu doctors to leave the Valley.

He conceded that Kashmir needed the “healing touch” that “must heal the victims of terror”. “It must liberate the state from terrorism” and not allow the militants to Talibanise Jammu and Kashmir. “Any soft signal may prove to be an encouragement to those involved in such acts,” Jaitley said, and added he hoped the People’s Democratic Party-Congress coalition government would “respond adequately”.

Asked if the BJP was not using “double standards”, with the Centre responding positively to reopening dialogue with the NSCN (I-M) and rejecting similar overtures to Jammu and Kashmir outfits, he said: “The Naga talks are a peace process and the dialogue that emerges out of it is one way of making sure that insurgency comes to an end. This process is on in Nagaland for several decades and it has been restarted with the objective of holding a political dialogue to end insurgency and, therefore, it is a welcome step.”

Jaitley said “in principle” the BJP favoured talks with Jammu and Kashmir groups which were against seceding from India.

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