The Bharatiya Janata Party has demanded that New Delhi recall the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan and scale down diplomatic relations with Islamabad in the wake of the fatal attack on death-row prisoner Sarabjit Singh.

Talking to reporters here, BJP president Rajnath Singh maintained that had India taken effective diplomatic steps in the past, such an incident would not have taken place. “The Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan should be called back and diplomatic relations should be scaled down till Pakistan gives full assurance that there will be no provocation or protection to any terror activities against India and full protection will be given to Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails,” Mr. Singh said.

The BJP has been opposed to normalisation of relations with Pakistan on the plea that Islamabad is not doing any thing to honour its commitment to stop ‘terrorism’ emanating from its soil.

Mr. Singh said India should lodge a strong protest on international fora against Pakistan on Sarabjit’s murder.

Earlier, on her twitter account, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj noted, “It is a cold blooded murder. This is not the way civilised nations behave.”

The BJP president alleged that the attack on Sarabjit was an outcome of India's weak foreign policy. “I consider this a diplomatic failure. It is well-known what kind of anti-India activities are taking place in Pakistan.”

Earlier also Indians were attacked in Pakistan jails, one of them, Chamel Singh, killed in a similar manner.

“Crocodile tears”

Patna Staff Reporter writes:

At a press conference here, BJP general secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy alleged that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were shedding crocodile tears over the death of Sarabjit.

“First, Sarabjit was attacked, then declared brain-dead and later declared dead. Intelligence reports, as well as Sarabjit himself, had said his life was under threat. So what measures did the government take to ensure his safety and security? The government should clarify what its blueprint for his security was,” he said.

In the context of Mr. Gandhi’s meeting with Sarabjit’s family earlier in the day, the BJP wanted to know “from the ‘crown prince’ what steps he had taken over the past 10 days to raise the issue.

Extrajudicial killing: Modi

Mangalore Special Correspondent writes:

Addressing an election campaign rally here, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi described Sarabjit’s death “a clear case of extrajudicial killing.” He blamed Pakistan for the death. Sarabjit should have been kept in an isolated cell, he said.

There was ample time for the government of India to mobilise international opinion on the attack on Sarabjit. India could have put pressure on Pakistan. But the government left it to his family to fight it out, Mr. Modi said.