Lok Sabha’s resolution on Friday nudging Islamabad to keep terrorists such as Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi behind bars wasn’t just a resolution unanimously adopted by all political parties.
It was the outcome of a rare collaborative effort in the House.
The resolution was drafted by Congress’ Shashi Tharoor, fine-tuned by BJP patriarch LK Advani and vetted by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. The Rajya Sabha is expected to adopt it on Monday.
Tharoor seemed taken aback when parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu initially reached out, asking the former UN diplomat if he could come up with a draft resolution.
Tharoor had been critical of the government for the delay in implementing the land boundary agreement with Bangladesh just a few minutes earlier.
Naidu didn’t want the resolution demanded by MPs to be a government resolution but to echo the voice of the House.
Tharoor agreed after he got a green signal from Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. He had run into trouble with the party earlier when he accepted PM Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat invite.
By the time Tharoor scribbled the first draft, Prime Minister Narendra Modi too reached the House, straight from his engagements with the visiting Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid. Once Kharge cleared the text, Tharoor went to Naidu.
But Modi advised them to consult LK Advani who was also sitting in the front row. Advani suggested some changes that Tharoor promptly carried out. In between, other leaders too joined them and there were suggestions that the resolution mention Pakistan’s judiciary too but Tharoor had reservations. In the end, his view appeared to have prevailed.
Swaraj carried out a few more changes, before the final copy reached Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s table.
In its final form, the resolution was unsparing in holding Islamabad responsible for the delay in prosecution and its apathetic attitude that resulted in Lakhvi’s bail order.