Tolerating jehad a self deception: Advani

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New Delhi, Jan 16 (UNI) BJP leader L K Advani today blamed the United States and the West for putting up with 'exporters of intolerant and extremist religious ideologies' under the label of 'defenders of freedom and democracy' and termed it as a 'self deceptive' attitude.

Taking part in a discussion on ''Democracy and Conflict Resolution in Asia'', organised by a Hindi newspaper, Mr Advani cautioned that such an attitude would prove costly to not just to the practitioners of extremist ideologies but the whole world.

He said the developments in Pakistan and Afghanistan should prompt India to recognise the manipulation of the term 'democracy' to suit self serving purposes in the name of preserving one's sphere of influence.

''All of us know that intolerant and extremist religious ideologies are being exported by certain countries in Asia, which were far away from being democratic. However, they were tolerated by the defenders of freedom and democracy worldwide,'' the BJP leader maintained. He further added, ''This self deception will prove costly to its practitioners and to the world at large.'' He said India had witnessed tragedy in Afghanistan where forces were stoking fire of religious extremism and global domination had also harmed the country.

''The troubles in that country began in 1979 with the invasion by Soviet Union. India should have strongly condemned at that time and categorically when Afghanistan had become a victim of cold war rivalry between two super-powers,'' Mr Advani said.

He further added that ''Pakistan had taken advantage for its narrow geo-political ambitions by pushing Afghanistan to war zone.

It also became a sanctuary for 'jehadi' terrorism with disastrous consequences like all those who gave birth to such 'Bhasmasurs' (a demon in Hindu mythology).'' ''The assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was the latest attempt to crush the aspirations of people urging for a stable democratic system. Struggle for democracy and struggle against terrorism inspired by religious extremism can't be separated", he said.

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