Politics can wait, BJP backs govt’s war on terror | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Politics can wait, BJP backs govt’s war on terror

In a departure from past posturing, the BJP’s core group of senior leaders decided to back the UPA government on “stern steps” that are needed to ensure that Pakistan desists from purusing “jehadi terrorism”, reports Shekhar Iyer.

delhi Updated: Dec 05, 2008 00:10 IST
Shekhar Iyer

In a departure from past posturing, the BJP’s core group of senior leaders on Thursday decided to back the UPA government on “stern steps” that are needed to ensure that Pakistan desists from purusing “jehadi terrorism.”

“As a nationalist party, the BJP shall stand by the government in the effective steps it takes in this regard,” said Jaswant Singh, former defence and foreign minister, at a press conference after the meeting at L.K. Advani’s residence.

The party will “whole-heartedly” cooperate with the UPA in enacting a “comprehensive Federal Security Law and establishing a Federal Security and Investigative Agency” and a new Police Reforms Commission.

In other words, politics may have to wait till Pakistan is first made to stop exporting terrorism from its soil — even though the party’s statement said, “The BJP believes that in the ultimate, solution lies with the people: they must ensure that power rests in the hands of persons who will always place the interests of our country above all else, who will never barter them for electoral gains.”

Earlier, new Home Minister P. Chidambaram paid his first courtesy call on the Leader of the Opposition and briefly discussed the government’s approach in the wake of the Mumbai attack.

Asked why the BJP was not openly pressing for a military strike and whether it had become wiser after its stint in the government and the Kargil War, Jaswant said: “Every experience makes you wiser. But we expect the government is assessing the steps that are required to ensure that Pakistan desists from pursuing jehadi terrorism.”

In Kannur, BJP president Rajnath Singh was, however, more explicit. “Let us not forget, 26/11 is not another terrorist incident. This is declaration of an open war by terrorists and their perpetrators against India. There is a need to avenge the repeated assault on our people and democracy.”

Jaswant said the party’s core group, which assessed the impact of the Mumbai attack, resolved that its support to UPA would be unconditional but wanted the government to engage in comprehensive sharing of facts and consultations with them and not “ex-post facto” consensus.

It also wanted the government to correct its failures and act on its “suggestions” that include immediate suspension of peace process with Pakistan, the sternest possible anti-terror laws, allowing all states to have uniform laws and clear pending ones like Gujarat’s anti-terrorist law.

The BJP would back efforts of the government for a major “coercive diplomacy” to force Pakistan to adhere to its commitments to fight terror and tell the West not to succumb to Islambad’s “blackmail” that it won’t cooperate in the ongoing fight against jehadi terrorism if its line on India was not toed.

It will also back the government in undertaking a total overhaul of the intelligence machinery, setting up police posts along the coast and placing the Coast Guard under the command of the Navy.It also support the government if it introduced a new code for media during national emergencies.