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Seize opportunity to talk to Musharraf, Left

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Sept 11: Ridiculing the BJP's demand that he should not meet Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf at the NAM summit in Havana, the Left parties today pleaded with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to seize every opportunity to ''greet, talk and discuss'' all issues with the military leader.

The leaders of the CPI, CPI(M) and Forward Bloc said it was true that they had bitter feelings against Pakistan following the Mumbai blasts, but certainly they had not given up the idea of resolving the Kashmir issue permanently.

Talking to UNI, CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan said everybody knows that the BJP wishes to give the credit of initiating peace talks to Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee. ''All right, let us accept that he did want to solve the dispute.'' ''What is wrong in restoring the dialogue? Can it be done without talking to someone?'' Mr Bardhan said while wanting to know if it was not the ''double standard and hypocrisy of the BJP in asking Mr Singh to not meet Mr Musharraf.'' Snubbing the ''saffron party'' for raising the Vande Mataram controversy, the Left leaders came down heavily on the Congress for seeking ''political mileage'' by interpreting the country's history in its own fashion.

Mr Bardhan recalled that the RSS activists never sang it as the national song, rather they sang their own songs at their shakhas.

As far as the national freedom movement is concerned, it had accepted only the first two stanzas of the song as the remaining stanzas were in praise of Goddess Durga.

''The very fact that the BJP was now insisting on singing those first two stanzas demonstrated its attitude of forcing others to sing the song. How can this be a symbol of national pride and unity?'' On resuming dialogue between India and Pakistan, CPI(M) deputy floor leader in the Lok Sabha Salim Mohammad said it was the desire of the people of the two countries that the peace process must continue.

''All the more, every opportunity for dialouge should be seized despite some differences between the neighbours. Closer ties between the two countries is the only answer to the present day crisis, whether on the border or inside the country,'' the veteran leader said.

Mr Salim said it was always welcome that the two leaders should meet, greet and discuss ways and means to find solution to the Kasmir issue. Instead of depending on any ''third umpire'', the major players in South Asia should find an answer themselves, he added.

On BJP raising conroversy over the Vande Matram issue, the CPI(M) leader endorsed Mr Bardhan's view that it had no substantial issue to sustain at present and was desperately seeking something or the other to fall back on. ''It wants to ride on the Hindutva agenda which again is not in sight.'' The BJP, out of over-enthusiasm, hailed Vande Mataram as the national song and a symbol of national pride. This was either for poltical debate or for communal division, the veteran Marxist added.


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