The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Teach them a lesson: House

New Delhi, Nov. 25: Parliament adopted a unanimous resolution condemning the attack on the Raghunath temple in Jammu at the end of an impromptu discussion during which several members — including BJP allies — expressed disappointment at the government’s inability to stop the attacks, as well as its reliance on the US which is helping Pakistan in cash and kind.

Members cutting across party lines strongly condemned last night’s terrorist strike with some demanding that Pakistan be taught a lesson to put an end to the menace. “How long are we going to tolerate such incidents and when is our patience going to end'” they asked.

For more than six months jawans were deployed at the border, but still the government could not stop the Pakistan gameplan of dividing Indian society along communal lines, the members said.

After deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani replied to the discussion in the Lok Sabha, Speaker Manohar Joshi read out the resolution condemning the senseless act of violence. The resolution said Pakistan-backed terrorists were desperate to disturb peace in the state. Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha observed a minute’s silence in memory of those killed.

Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said the Intelligence Bureau should be revamped, implying that the government had failed to check the attack because of lack of intelligence input. She exhorted the Centre to take strong action, saying “India should not keep quiet”. Mamata also blamed the US for helping Pakistan, which exported cross-border terrorism to India.

Prabhunath Singh of the Samata Party asked if the government would mount pressure on the US to prevent the flow of funds to terrorists. BJP’s Uttar Pradesh ally and BSP member Rashid Alvi wondered why no decisive action is being taken against Pakistan, which is responsible for cross-border terrorism in India. After months of deployment on the borders, armed forces were withdrawn without teaching Pakistan any lesson, he pointed out.

“About 25,000 people have fallen victim to cross-border terrorism. You (Advani) said it is a do-or-die battle. Where is the battle' What is the battle' Yesterday, you gave a warning. I hope this is the last warning,” said Shiv Sena member Mohan Rawale.

Another ally, the Indian National Lok Dal, also flayed the government for inaction. “When are we going to take steps'” asked Sushil Kumar Indora of the party. Whenever Israel, the US, or Russia is attacked, they gave a befitting reply, but not India, he pointed out.

America has a “double face”, said BJP chief whip V.K. Malhotra, indirectly blaming the Centre’s foreign policy for the situation. India is acting under pressure from the US while dealing with Pakistan, alleged Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav. He took the Centre to task, saying it has failed to take concrete steps to curb cross-border terrorism. “Those who fear for their own lives cannot protect the country,” he added.

CPM veteran Somnath Chatterjee, however, said Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s efforts to provide a “healing touch” was the right approach.

The CPM veteran asked if the level of security provided at religious places at present is sufficient to foil terrorist strikes.

Chatterjee dismissed as “simplistic” allegations that the decision not to implement the anti-terror law in Jammu and Kashmir helped terrorists, asking what prompted militants to attack Akshardham in Gujarat where the law is in force.

P.H. Pandian of the ADMK said it is high time that India takes a “tough military stand” against Pakistan whose game is to divide India on religious lines.

Congress member Satyabrata Chakravarty wondered whether any tangible gain was made by military mobilisation on the borders for months and asked if prisoners in Jammu and Kashmir were released without consultation with the Centre.

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