BJP flays NSA's remarks on 'clinching' proof

None | ByShekhar Iyer, New Delhi
Oct 24, 2006 10:31 AM IST

BJP accuses Narayanan of weakening India's case by stating 'we don't have clinching evidence in Mumbai blasts'.

The BJP has criticised National Security Advisor MK Narayanan for his remark that India does not have clinching evidence about the involvement of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the July 11 train blasts in Mumbai.

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HT Image

Party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a statement: “Our concern is that Narayanan has given Pakistan big elbow room to deny its role in fomenting terror in India and also in justifying with authority the entire allegation against the ISI.” He added: “Surely, the nation would like to be educated about the distinction between good and clinching evidence as far as the involvement of the ISI in the Mumbai blasts is concerned.”

Prasad said the NSA, as a security expert, would certainly know that in the case of sponsoring cross-border terrorism by a country, “good evidence” is as good as clinching evidence. “The larger issue remains, how far is it fair and just for the NSA to publicly berate the efforts of the Mumbai police, which has otherwise done a good job in cracking the case?”

“Pakistan can now insist on a joint investigation through the so-called joint anti-terrorism mechanism floated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Havana, which in itself embraces Pakistan as a victim of terror and not a perpetrator of terror,” the BJP spokesperson said. “It is high time the Prime Minister asks his NSA not to shoot off his mouth so often as it embarrasses the security forces and police,” he added.

Suggesting that it would be prudent for the Prime Minister and his NSA not to make a “comic affair” of national security with their flip-flops, “particularly in relation to Pakistan’s role in sponsoring cross-border terrorism”, Prasad said: “Each time he (Narayanan) gives an interview, he either creates confusion or causes panic.”

No contradiction, says Cong

Dismissing the BJP’s charge that Narayanan’s statement was self-contradictory, the Congress on Monday said there was no contradiction between the NSA’s statements soon after the blasts and now. Party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said: “There is no contradiction in the statements by Narayanan on the role of the ISI in the Mumbai blasts.” What Narayanan said was that “there were many facts with regard to the ISI’s role but he can’t say whether they are clinching or not; it is for the courts to decide on the veracity of the evidence”, Singhvi added.

On Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s statement regarding the presence of a spy ring in the army, Singhvi said: “It is a serious matter but it is also well known that Pakistan has been involved in fomenting and aiding terrorism inside the country.”

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