Jaswant under fire for not revealing mole's name
Sangh Parivar mouthpiece Panchjanya has attacked BJP leader Jaswant Singh for not naming the US mole he has referred to in his book asking him to explain why he has kept secret the identity of a spy who should have been "hanged in public" by his party.
"It's not understandable why Jaswant Singh, as a top leader of a party reputed internationally as a Hindu nationalist and a pro-Hindutva party, did not reveal for so long that there was a mole in the Prime Minister's office," the weekly said in an article in its latest issue.
The write-up also asked Singh whether he would describe the spy as a patriot, betrayer or as a traitor.
"If that spy is a traitor, why then that person should be allowed right to life in India? And why this right has been given to that person for past ten years by remaining silent?"
The BJP, which has sought to distance itself from the uproar over Singh's reference to the US mole in the PMO during the Narasimha Rao government, also came in for some stinging observations in the RSS mouthpiece.
"This nationalist party (when it was in power) should have hanged that spy publicly," the article remarked.
Singh's apparent praise of senior US officials in Clinton administration also drew flak in the Panchjanya piece.
"Singh does appear somewhat critical of US policies, but his overwhelming expressions, as a leader of a nationalist party, of American officials in the Clinton administration create a strange distaste," it said.
The Panchjanya article also disapproved of what it called Singh's cautious attempts to blame the Congress for Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah's pro-partition moves.
"He has tried to create an impression that Jinnah became anti-Hindu and an advocate of partition because of the Congress. We may be criticising the Congress for the damage it has done to the country, but when it comes to its comparison with Jinnah, we will treat the Congress, which is an Indian political party, as our own," it said.
The write-up praised Singh's command of the English language and his writing skills, but found him guilty of showing disregard for Sangh ideology, citing the reasons he gave in "A Call To Honour" for setting free three terrorists in exchange for the passengers of the Indian Airlines flight hijacked to Kandahar in 1999.
"The question is whether you give importance to the ideological family that helped you climb ladder (of success). Perhaps, he is not even worried about it," the article remarked.
It said Singh had "complicated" things in his apparent attempts to come clean on the Kandahar row.
It accused Singh, who admitted in his book that he agreed to set free the terrorists during the hijack crisis under pressure from bureaucrats, of having compromised national honour in Kandahar.
"It's humiliating to see that he bowed down not because of national prestige but played with the dignity of crores of people in the country by bowing down under pressure of some bureaucrats," the article said.
The write-up insisted Singh still does not regard his flight to Kandahar in 1999 as a mistake.
Referring to Singh's recollections of his visit to Kandahar in his book, the article called the Taliban's refusal to his request for a meeting a national insult.
"It was not an insult to Jaswant Singh's but an insult to India when no Taliban minister came to meet him at the airport despite his repeated requests and instead sent him some dry fruits and a nail-cutter in a bag."
In a reference to the post-Parliament attack events which Singh has recalled in his book, the write-up slammed the BJP leader accusing him of pursuing the three services' chiefs against a trans-border assault during the almost year-long troop build-up.
"Obviously, this means that Singh stopped the three services' chiefs, who were ready to answer the attack (on Parliament), by using the influence of his position."
The article pointed out that he has made no mention of his party colleague LK Advani's Ayodhya yatra, but did make a negative comment against the BJP over the Babri demolition.
It asked the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha why he chose to spell out the exact figure of the death toll in the post-Godhra riots while recalling the casualty in the Sabarmati train arson as "somewhat less than 60".
Also, the article pointed out that Singh has in his book made a single reference to the RSS. "And there also, he has introduced it (the RSS) through a reference from London's Economist!"