Jaswant holds Govt accountable for LeT flags episode
Raising the issue in RS he says the central government’s claim that it was not aware of this makes it an additional point of concern, reports Satyen Mohapatra.Updated: May 08, 2007 20:43 IST
Leader of Opposition Jaswant Singh on Tuesday held the central government accountable for allowing Syed Ali Shah Geelani to land in Srinagar and address a public rally where there were flags demonstrating support to Lashkar-e–Toiba and anti-India slogans were raised. Just a few weeks back Lashkar-e-Toiba admittedly was involved in a grave act of terrorism killing more than 200 persons in a Mumbai train, he added.
Raising the issue in Rajya Sabha he said the central government’s claim that it was not aware of this makes it an additional point of concern.
He said Geelani travelled to Srinagar after discharge from a hospital in Mumbai which was no secret either to the state government nor the central government. There were pre-arranged built dais and microphones at the airport in Srinagar, he added.
"If the government knew of his coming why was the meeting was permitted at the Srinagar Airport," he asked. He said the Prime Minister had recently referred to Jammu and Kashmir as new state of Jammu, state of Kashmir and state of Ladakh. The PM also has spoken time and again of "soft borders", making borders irrelevant and having breakfast in Srinagar, lunch in Lahore and dinner in Kabul, he added.
He said as victims of terrorism promoted by Pakistan he was surprised by the statements of Prime Minister. Referring to a number of committees being made to look into the status of Jammu and Kashmir he reminded that Parliament had passed a unanimous resolution in 1994 affirming that Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India and declaring that any attempt to separate the state would be resisted by all means.
He said the House resolution had also affirmed that the entire undivided state including Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Northern Territories were part of India.
Alleging that the government was not taking Opposition parties into confidence on Jammu and Kashmir, he said PM is ready to discuss all aspects of foreign policy with everyone else expect the Opposition.
Stating that there was an increasing tendency to outsource foreign policy, he said "segmentation" of foreign policy with state government taking decisions will be the "worst" possible step.
Referring to a former Punjab Chief Minister flying in his guests from Pakistan without visas to Rajasthan, he said, these were "highly dangerous trends".
He said the responsibility of when, where and what force of Army should be deployed in the states was the prerogative of the union government, the Defence Ministry, the National Security Council and the Cabinet Committee on Security and should not be negotiated with the state government. He took exception to moves by the Centre to "redeploy" troops in the state under "political pressure".