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CPM call to clarify stand on Palestine

New Delhi, Sept. 6: CPM general secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet has asked Atal Bihari Vajpayee to clarify his government’s stand on Palestine, two days before Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon arrives on an official visit.

In a three-page letter to the Prime Minister, Surjeet said: “It is incumbent on the part of the government to reiterate its stand on Palestine in the context of the invitation extended to the Israeli Prime Minister.”

He added: “It is time that the government clarified its stand instead of trying to run with the hare and hunt with the hound.”

Surjeet asked the Centre to clarify if it supported the creation of an independent Palestine state as per relevant UN resolutions. He wished to know if the government sought the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the West Bank and Gaza strip and if it recognised the Palestinian Liberation Organisation as the genuine representative of Palestinians.

This is not the first time the CPM has criticised the Centre’s foreign policy. It has often said the government is moving away from India’s traditional policy based on national consensus.

Surjeet pointed out Sharon had to quit as defence minister following a massacre of Palestinian refugees. “On February 13, 1983, a commission of inquiry set up by the Israeli government found Sharon guilty of complicity in the massacre in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in Beirut between September 16-18 1982,” he said.

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