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Greek gift for BJP - The Times of India

Editorial ()
February 2, 1998

Title: Greek gift for BJP
Author: Editorial
Publication: The Times of India
Date: February 2, 1998

The ISI has stamped its approval on the BJP - no, not the Indian
Standards Institution which certifies products for quality, but
the Pakistan-based Inter-Services Intelligence which is behind
much of our misery in Kashmir and elsewhere. A recent article by
a retired director-general of the organisation, general Asad
Durrani, gives full marks to the BJP, which he describes as a
party with a "refreshingly frank" worldview, a party whose
installation Pakistan should support. That this is far from being
an isolated opinion in sections generally considered adversarial
to the BJP is confirmed by the support offered to a future
Vajpayee-led government by our own Pro-Pakistan All-Party
Hurriyat Conference. Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq not
only felt Mr Vajpayee was the best of the current lot of Prime-
ministerial contenders, he was contemptuous of one-time
favourites Congress and the United Front: The Congress was the
cause of the Kashmir problem while the UF which came in to solve
the problem had reneged on the promise. All this will no doubt be
music to the cars of the BJP which has lately gone out of its way
to open a channel of communication with the minorities. The
positive feelers from the anti-India establishment in Pakistan as
well as that of the Hurriyat would seem to vindicate the BJP's
stand that secularism as practised in this country had only
harmed the interests of the minorities.

A word of caution here, lest the BJP's supporters conclude that
their enemy's enemy is necessarily a friend. The BJP is opposed
to secularism of the Congress and Janata kind, so is Pakistan.
But that does not make the two natural allies. The BJP's quarrel
with our secularists is over the latter turning the minorities
into a votebank, which is a legitimate political position to
take. Pakistan's only purpose in supporting a BJP government in
India is to establish the validity of the two-nation theory; to
prove that India is a Hindu country. To quote General Durrani :
"We ,who wanted to make Pakistan an Islamic state, and have made
it so, have no right to question the appropriateness of the BJP
trying to make India a Hindu state. In fact, logic demands that
we should support that point of view.... Pakistanis would know
where they stand with a BJP government as there would be no
ambiguity on the subject." The hurriyat's support is for similar
reasons; with Article 370 gone, there would be nothing to link
India with Kashmir, says the maulvi. All this is not logic but
claptrap. India chose to be a non-denominatorial democracy ,and
such it will remain. Not because of any credo borrowed from
outside, but because of the innate pluralism of its multi-ethnic
people. India is far too diverse and complex for any government
to be able to order, much less impose, a unitary way of life.
Unlike Pakistan which swiftly discarded all pretensions to being
non-sectarian, India has not swerved from its ideological path in
the last 50 years The tragedy with Pakistan is not only that it
cannot take care of its minorities, but also that even its
majority is virtually under a dictatorship. It is in the interest
of the BJP to reject a compliment it can well do without and
beware of Greeks in the guise of the ISI bearing gifts.

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