As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh confirmed a bilateral meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meet in New York, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha asked Manmohan Singh whether it was the right time to meet his counterpart.
"All these years, since 2004, Pakistan has been indulging in cross-border terrorism, including the famous ones like the 26/11 attack on Mumbai. Then, recently, we have seen their behaviour on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, which is totally objectionable. So, is this the right atmosphere and the right time to talk to Pakistan at the summit level?" Sinha, who was foreign minister during the NDA rule, asked.
Sinha said,"Terror and talks should not go together. This is the arrangement and the understanding that has been established between India and Pakistan, when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister."
BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the core issue was Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. "They have to discuss on this issue. They cannot ignore national interest. They have to go with national interest and put American interest next. People will have faith in the government only then."
Two days ago, BJP president Rajnath Singh said, "When there is no conducive environment for talks, why is this haste being shown to have the meeting. The country wants a clarification on this from the PM."
He recalled that the PM had himself, following the 26/11 attack on Mumbai by Pakistani terrorists, had categorically said there would be no talks till Pakistan acts against terror elements.
"Why this change in stance," he asked. "Pakistan has violated ceasefire (along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir) more than 100 times so far this year. Despite the recent activities by Pakistan, the (UPA) government is not willing to respond," he said.