The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BJP toes Sangh line on Pak talks

New Delhi, May 12: The BJP today seconded the RSS line of using the 1994 Parliament resolution on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as the basis of a political dialogue with Islamabad even as it maintained that the NDA and the government were “one” on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s peace initiative.

The 1994 resolution reaffirmed that PoK was an integral part of India and that the only “unfinished agenda” was to get that part of Kashmir back.

At a press conference, BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu endorsed the RSS proposal saying: “It is not only the desire of the RSS but of the people of India. It is a resolution of Parliament and not a precondition.”

Naidu insisted that there was “absolute unity” in the NDA and between the BJP and the government on the Indo-Pak talks.

“We may be speaking in different languages but the core of it is nobody is opposed to the talks. Our Prime Minister spoke of the need for stopping cross-border terrorism, but you cannot expect the Prime Minister of any country to speak in terms of a political reaction.”

To buttress his point, he added: “Both the government and the party have made it clear that there should be no third-party interference in Jammu and Kashmir.”

If the BJP sounded different, the party chief clarified that it was only because it was “articulating the views of the people who want cross-border terrorism to end”. This, he said, was a worldwide concern because terrorism was at the core of global problems.

As a political party, it was the BJP’s duty to bring to the international community’s attention how Pakistan was encouraging terrorist groups like the al Qaida and sheltering the Taliban, he said.

Stressing on a halt to cross-border terrorism, Naidu said the “onus of creating a conducive atmosphere for talks lies with Pakistan. We are not putting any conditions but there is one simple condition and it is that, to have peace and friendship, the basic requirement is that you stop encouraging cross-border terrorism, dismantle the terrorist training camps and stop aiding and abetting the militants”. Deputy Prime Minister .K. Advani had voiced the same points while addressing a meeting at the BJP headquarters last Friday.

But in the process of clarifying that he was not dictating terms for the talks, Naidu ended up sounding tough on Pakistan: “Everybody is talking of ending terrorism. Here, Pakistan joins the fight against terrorism on its western border and joins terrorists on its eastern border. Let Pakistan respond positively and take the initiative.”

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