The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government should have learnt its lesson after the 26/11 (November 26, 2008, terror strike in Mumbai) that terrorism was the major issue that needed to be discussed between India and Pakistan, chairman of the Bharatiya Janata Party parliamentary party L.K. Advani said here on Thursday.

Expressing surprise at the sudden move to hold talks when the government had made it clear that there would be no talks unless there was progress on the 26/11 investigations from the Pakistani side, Mr. Advani hinted that he felt a “nudge” from the U.S. must be the reason for the talks, repeating what other party leaders, including Arun Jaitley, have already said.

Talking to journalists on the sidelines of a function at the BJP office, Mr. Advani referred to the India-Pakistan joint statement of January 2004 in Islamabad. He pointed out that Pakistan had stated it would not allow its territory to be used for terror activities against India. He said Pakistan should keep its promise and dismantle the terror infrastructure before the talks are held.

Earlier, the 2001 Agra Summit had failed precisely because the Pakistan President, General Pervez Musharraf, had refused to accept the facts about terrorism and instead said what was happening in Kashmir was part of a freedom struggle.

The issue would be raised by the BJP in Parliament when it convenes for the Budget session later this month, Mr. Advani added.

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