Ravi Shankar Prasad: why did his controversial statements go uncontested?
Raising a series of questions on the just-concluded visit of Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik, the Bharatiya Janata Party alleged on Monday that the manner in which the government handled it was a ‘copybook’ case of ad-hocism in the conduct of foreign policy.
At a news conference here, BJP national spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad referred to the statement made by Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in Parliament on the visit and maintained that it was a mere sequence of issues flagged by India and revealed nothing on the response of Pakistan.
Taking exception to some of the controversial statements attributed to the Pakistan Minister, the BJP spokesperson wondered why the government allowed them to go uncontested.
“What Rehman Malik said was unwarranted, unprovoked. We strongly condemn it. I want to ask the Home Minister why Mr. Malik was allowed to come if his visit to India was with an agenda. Why didn’t the government respond to all this strongly,” Mr. Prasad asked.
Mr. Prasad said the Pakistan Minister ‘compared’ the Babri Masjid demolition to terrorism and this outrage was compounded by his clarification. He charged Mr. Malik with violating the norm of refraining from making comments on the internal affairs of another country.
“The Indian government should have strongly protested against these comments made by Mr. Malik but it did not do so. This is unfortunate,” Mr. Prasad said.
Referring to Mr. Malik’s “wrong” statement that Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed was arrested for the 26/11 Mumbai attack by Pakistan authorities but released by the courts, the BJP sought to know on what basis was India holding talks if the Interior Minister of Pakistan was “misinformed” as charged by Mr. Shinde.
“On what basis are the talks on with Pakistan? Is the government serious about getting justice for 26/11,” he asked.