Agartala, Apr.16 (ANI): Senior Congress leader and External Affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday refuted the allegation of the BJP that the Congress was "soft" towards Pakistan and failed to contain terrorism in the country rather he claimed that his party is more strongly dealing with the militancy issue and particularly the Pakistan sponsored cross border terrorism than the BJP.
Talking to mediapersons here Mukherjee said that under the diplomatic pressure from India, "In the history of 62 years, for the first time Pakistan has admitted and no less a person then Home Secretary, they (Pakistan) are not calling Home Minister his adviser or something like that but his actual rank is of a cabinet minister of Home Interior, he has admitted, yes, the terrorist who attacked Mumbai they are from Pakistan. His admission we (India) got. International opinion has been created, diplomacy has won."
Apparently responding to Opposition leader Lal Krishan Advani's repeated charge that Congress is weakly dealing on the militancy issue, Mukherjee said: "Surely the cross border terrorism is the most complex problem and no body denies that but question is how could you define which action is appropriate. When Mr. Advani was Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India our Parliament House was attacked, Red Fort in Delhi was attacked, Jammu Kashmir assembly was attacked, Raghunath temple was attacked and after attack and assault of Parliament which the citadel of the power, which is the symbol sovereignty, the then Prime Minister Vajpayeejee told that this time there will be aar-paar lorai (war), Mr. L K Advani as Home Minister said we will have hot persuade and what was the impact."
"After attack on Parliament diplomatic relation was not snapped but ambassadors were with-drawned, it was downgraded, no dialogue, no talk, massive mobilization on the border, everybody was having betting blade war is imminent. Thousand and thousand acres of land were taken away from farmers of Jammu and Kashmir and land mines were laid. After ten months there was not even a whimper, not a question of bang" Mukherjee said.
He added, "In January 2004 Prime Minister Vajpayee visited Pakistan in connection with the SAARC summit he got an assurance from the then President Musharraf that land of Pakistan will not be allowed to be use by the extremist and all these things came to an end. Million and million of rupees were used for the mobilization and when mines are buried in a land they do not remain in the same place and after few months when one de-mine machine do not indicate there is any mine because sometime rats take away the mines to some distance away, high velocity wind on the hill top takes away the mine. Exactly that happened and what were the consequences farmers were dying in Jammu and Kashmir because of mine explosion and almost hundred of innocent farmers lost their life."
Mukherjee said that in September 2008 Congress led UPA put diplomatic pressure on Pakistan had demanded fulfillment of three commitments made by them. Firstly Pakistan land be not allowed by the terrorist, returning of fugitive under Indian laws including who (Maulana Masood Azhar) was exchanged after the highjacking of India flight to Kandhar and dismantling of the infrastructure being used by the terrorist in the land under Pakistan control.
He said the UPA government would continue its efforts to isolate Pakistan in the international arena and the international community had been successfully convinced by India that the Mumbai attacks had originated from Pakistan which that nation had to but ultimately admit. By Pinaki Das (ANI)