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BJP to US: Take care of J&K too

BJP to US: Take care of J&K too

Author: Devesh Kumar
Publication: The Economic Times
Date: November 3, 2001

India's unease with the growing US-Pakistan cooperation in an attempt to finish off the Taliban found its echo in the BJP national executive meeting which began here this morning amidst unprecedented security. Party president Jana Krishnamurthy, in his introductory speech, had this piece of advise for the Bush administration: 'America should remember that elimination of terrorism by merely targeting the Taliban will not provide the desired result if it does not come forward to cooperate with India and other countries in rooting out the menace from the other parts of the world.' Mr Krishnamurthy's remarks assume significance when seen in the light of the 'Afghanistan first' stand taken by the US and its allies. India's appeals that cross-border terrorism in J&K should also be considered simultaneously has gone largely unheeded.

The BJP president toed the line adopted by the Vajpayee government on the plea, made forcefully during his trip to New Delhi early this week by the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, as also Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, to resume peace talks. 'How can Pakistan, or for that matter any other country, expect India to respond to the request when Pakistan actively promotes cross-border terrorism in India. If President Musharraf and Pakistan shed their claws of terrorism, they'll find India extending its hand of friendship too,' he said.

Cross-border terrorism took up a large part of Mr Krishnamurthy's speech, confirming the indications that the BJP may take up the themes of terrorism and national security in a big way as it prepares for the crucial UP election as well as what promises, to be a tussle with its opponents in Parliament. He urged the opposition parties not to allow party or partisan interests to come in the way of fighting out the challenge posed by the terrorists.

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