Citing India's recent talks with Pakistan, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani has strongly criticised the government's Pakistan policy, saying it "is really in a shambles" and "alienated from public opinion".
"New Delhi’s Pakistan policy is really in a shambles... Never before has India's Pakistan policy been so completely alienated from public opinion as it is today. Even within the Government, ministers have serious reservations about the policy," Advani posted on his blog.
He defended Home Secretary GK Pillai, who ahead of the talks, had in an newspaper interview said the interrogation of Pakistani American terrorist David Coleman Headley had revealed the involvement of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in planning the 26/11 Mumbai attack.
After his talks with Indian External Affairs Ministser SM Krishna in Islamabad July 15, his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said at a joint press conference that Pillai's remarks were "uncalled for" and did not serve any purpose, when asked about the Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafeez Saaed's hate speeches in Pakistan.
Advani wrote: "I have personally known Home Secretary GK Pillai (sic) as a very responsible and competent official and so when at the joint press conference in Islamabad, Pakistan’s External Affairs Minister Qureshi castigated Pillai and bracketed him with terrorist Hafeez Saeed, and I saw our foreign minister quietly swallowing the insult, I was surprised."
Advani said that his "surprise verily became a sense of outrage" when Krishna said in an interview to CNN-IBN and NDTV on July 19 that Pillai's statements were "ill timed" and could have waited.
It "added injury to the Pakistani insult by publicly admonishing Pillai not for any fault of his but for the signal service he had rendered the country by exposing the ISI's role in the 26/11 terrorist attack on Mumbai", he said.
He also termed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's July 16, 2009 statement at Sharm-el-Sheikh to "delink" the issue of India-Pakistan dialogue from the issue of terrorism a "blunder".
"One wishes both Dr. Manmohan Singh as well as SM Krishna realise that firmness of purpose is one of the most necessary sinews of character and one of the best instruments of success," he said.
"As of today, the prime purpose of India's Pak (Pakistan) policy must be to force this neighbour of ours to abandon terrorism," Advani maintained.