New Delhi, Feb 8, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani Monday asked aloud if the government’s decision to start foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan was the “upshot of a powerful nudge from Washington”.
“The question people have been asking in a more straightforward manner is … is its (India’s) latest U-turn on dialogue the upshot of a powerful nudge from Washington?” the former deputy prime minister wrote in his blog.
The offer of dialogue, he pointed out, came despite the government’s earlier insistence on “steadfastly refusing to resume talks with Pakistan until Islamabad brings those behind the Mumbai attacks to justice.”
“New Delhi’s sudden announcement last week that India was willing to hold foreign secretary level parleys with Pakistan has naturally made many political analysts in the country ask: is this the consequence of (Barack) Obama’s assertion being put into action?” writes Advani.
Advani, an advocate of tough posture towards Pakistan, was alluding to an pre-election interview by Obama in which he hinted at appointing a special envoy for the Kashmir issue to resolve the India-Pakistan tensions.
During the presidential campaign in 2008, Obama had said that “working with Pakistan and India to try to resolve the Kashmir crisis in a serious way” would be among the critical tasks of his administration if he was elected.
Advani contended that India’s change of stand had led to gloating in Pakistan. He referred to Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s remarks boasting “gleefully that it was international pressure that had forced India to return to the negotiating table!”
He reminded the government of the Feb 22, 1994 parliament resolution on Jammu and Kashmir that condemned Pakistan’s support to subversive activities in the state.
“The country, the government as well as the world would do well to keep the above resolution in mind,” Advani said.
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