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Updated: January 16, 2013 19:27 IST

Act tough, Sushma tells government

Special Correspondent
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Sushma Swaraj
Sushma Swaraj

Promises unconditional support in such decisions

The BJP has hit out at the government for being “weak” in dealing with Pakistan. Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Thursday issued a terse statement, complaining how the government had not even bothered to respond to her offer of unconditional support to any ‘tough measures’ against Pakistan.

Notwithstanding the statement of Ms. Swaraj, her party was evasive on what it expects the government to do in the wake of the latest skirmish on the India-Pakistan border which led to the death of two soldiers. Party spokespersons did not respond to specific questions on whether the BJP wants the dialogue process suspended.

On Wednesday, party’s national spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Vajpayee-Musharraf accord should be the basis for any engagement with Islamabad. A categorical commitment by Pakistan that it would not allow its soil to be used to launch attacks against at India is considered by the BJP as one of the main components of the accord. “If this basic agreement is not followed, then what is the point of talks? This is not a casual conversation. We need to redefine, reappraise and reanalyse the basic contours of engagement with Pakistan,” he said.

In her statement, Ms. Swaraj said she spoke to National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon on Wednesday and asked to him to convey to the Prime Minister that what had happened on the LoC was unacceptable. The government must go in for tough measures and the BJP would support the government in such decisions, she told him.

“However, there is no response from the government so far. Unfortunately, we have a very weak government in the country. And weak governments are incapable of taking tough decisions. It is a matter of honour of the country. It is a question of morale of our armed forces. The government has to act. And the government has to act tough,” she said.

Party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said at a press conference here that the BJP would hold district-level protests to reflect the anger of people over the killings. “Pakistan should get the message that the people are angry for crossing over to our side and killing our soldiers.”

There were 72 ceasefire violations in 13 months, she said and held the Pakistani government and its Army responsible for such violations.

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