BJP stages a walkout of Parliament in protest over PM's NAM statement

Posted By: Staff
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New Delhi, July 17 (ANI): The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) staged a walk out of the Lok Sabha on Friday afternoon while registering its strong protest over what it called a "capitulation" by the UPA Government to Pakistan on the terror issue.

Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani announced the walk out after the treasury benches rejected his party's demand for an explanation from Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on the need for de-linking the issue of terror from the resumption of the composite dialogue process.

Advani, Sushma Swaraj and others asked what had changed in the last seven months for the Government to agree to the delinking of terror from the resumption of dialogue between the two countries. Advani said the opposition was unable to understand why such a change in stance has taken place when the status quo on the 26/11 probe has not changed.

Advani said there was no doubt that the government had conceded to Pakistan on the issue of terror.

Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee said that it was against parliamentary precedent to demand an explanation after a statement was read out by the Prime Minister, and added that the government/ treasury benches were always ready to have a "structured debate" on the issues included in the joint communiqué released in Sharm-el Sheikh, Egypt, after a nearly three-hour-long meeting between the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan held on the sidelines of the XVth Non-Aligned Movement (NAM Summit.

Prior to the opposition walk out, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, read out a statement about his bilateral visit to France to attend that country's National Day celebrations and on his visit to Sharm-el-Sheikh to attend the XVth NAM Summit.

He said that it was movement of personal pride for him to attend the National Day celebrations of France, and he was especially proud to see personnel of the Indian armed forces leading the parade on July 14.

On the visit to Egypt, he said that he had very fruitful discussions with various NAM leaders, including the Prime Ministers of Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka.

Referring to his discussions with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Dr. Singh said that he had discussed the present condition of India-Pakistan relations and its future potential.

He also said that he had conveyed to Gilani the strong sentiments of the people of India on the issue of terror, especially on the Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008, and added that Pakistan has handed over a fresh dossier on the 26/11-attack probe, which the government is reviewing.

He said that both leaders had agreed that terrorism is the main threat to both countries and affirmed their resolve to fight terrorism and to cooperate with each other to this end.

He said that during his meeting with Gilani he reiterated the need to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice, and added that Prime Minister Gilani had assured that Pakistan would do everything in its power in this regard.

Both leaders agreed that the two countries would share real time, credible and actionable information on any future terrorist threats, he said.

He said that both recognized that dialogue is the only way forward.

While reiterating India's interest in a stable, democratic, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Prime Minister said in his statement that he had agreed to Gilani's suggestion that action on terrorism should not be linked to the Composite Dialogue process. He also said that India was ready to discuss all issues with Pakistan, including all outstanding issues.

He also said that the foreign secretaries of the two countries have been instructed to meet as often as necessary and to report to the two Foreign Ministers who will be meeting on the sidelines of the forthcoming UN General Assembly in September. (ANI)

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