The opposition BJP and the Left on Wednesday said India must work towards a UN Security Council (UNSC) mandate for strikes inside Pakistan to demolish terror camps.
Shortly after Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari refused to hand over the terrorists wanted by India, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said since there was already a UN resolution asking member-states to join hands to curb terrorism, it was high time that the UNSC be moved for a mandate “to destroy the edifice of terrorism in Pakistan”.
Refusing to state whether his party favoured a quick military action now, Prasad said Pakistan’s rejection of India’s request to hand over the terrorists was timed with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s visit to India, indicating that they had no intention of cooperating on the matter.
“Zardari has changed his stand thrice in the last two days, obviously under the pressure of the Pakistani military,” he said. “His offer of a joint probe is absolutely unacceptable.”
Later in the day, leader of opposition and the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani discussed the Mumbai attacks with Rice. He told Rice that while Lashkar-e-Tayyeba could have carried out the attacks, the training, equipment, co-ordination that went into it indicated “that it could not have been done except with the knowledge, guidance, training and
resources of Pakistan’s agencies”.
Advani said despite several assurances, including the joint statement issued by Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee and President Pervez Musharraf on January 6, 2004, Pakistan had not stopped terrorist activity from its soil. Rice assured Advani that “the US would ensure that these concerns are registered with the Pakistan authorities”.
The Left parties also said that pressure should be built at the UNSC. At the all-party emergency meeting convened by the prime minister on Sunday, the Left had asked the government to apply pressure on Pakistan at the UNSC under the resolution against terrorism that binds all member-states.
A politburo meeting set the tone for the party’s stand. “A beginning has to be made”, the CPM said, to “identify forces with external links” behind the Mumbai attacks.
“After links of terrorists in Pakistan are established, the government should take up the matter with the UNSC,” CPM general secretary Prakash Karat told HT.
According to the party, under the UNSC resolution against terrorism (1373), all states have obligations to “deny safe havens to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts”.