rediff.com
rediff.com
News
      HOME | NEWS | THE ATTACK ON PARLIAMENT | REPORT
December 30, 2001
1400 IST

NEWSLINKS
US EDITION
SOUTH ASIA
COLUMNISTS
DIARY
SPECIALS
INTERVIEWS
CAPITAL BUZZ
REDIFF POLL
THE STATES
ELECTIONS
ARCHIVES
US ARCHIVES
SEARCH REDIFF



 Earn From
 Insurance


 Click Here to get
 minimum
 guaranteed 6%*
 returns on your
 premiums


  Call India
   Holiday Special
   Direct Service

  Save upto 60% over
    AT&T, MCI
  Rates 29.9/min
   Select Cities



   Prepaid Cards

  Delhi 19.9/min
  Chennai 26/min
  Other Cities



 India Abroad
Weekly Newspaper

  In-depth news

  Community Focus

  16 Page Magazine
For 4 free issues
Click here!

 Search the Internet
         Tips
E-Mail this report to a friend
Print this page Best Printed on  HP Laserjets

Opposition supports steps against Pakistan

Major opposition parties on Sunday came out in support of the measures taken by the government against Pakistan following the December 13 terrorist strike on Parliament. They also sought maximum scope for diplomatic steps to force Islamabad to rein in terrorist outfits.

The refrain by political parties at the meeting convened by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was that "maximum scope" should be given to the use of diplomatic measures against Islamabad, which has not given enough evidence so far to prove that it was really acting against terrorist groups.

Briefing reporters after a two-hour-long meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan said it was felt in the meeting that it was very difficult to believe Pakistan's claim that it had taken action against terrorists and their outfits.

A major highlight of the meeting was the decision by the government to send delegations to key world capitals to mobilise opinion in favour of India in its fight against Pakistan-backed cross-border terrorism.

Mahajan said the delegations would start leaving by the second half of January and senior opposition leaders would lead some of them.

He said a decision to this effect was taken following suggestions from some opposition leaders that India should send such delegations as part of its stepped up diplomatic initiatives.

Among others, leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha Sonia Gandhi and senior Congress leader Manmohan Singh, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Harkishan Singh Surjeet, CPI veteran A B Bardhan, his party collegue Ajay Chakravarty and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee participated in the meeting.

Home Minister L K Advani, External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha and National Security Adviser Brajash Mishra represented the government.

All the leaders approved the action taken by the government so far and were appreciative of the future diplomatic strategy unveiled by the external affairs minister at the meeting, Mahajan said.

"The approach of every leader at today's meeting was very cooperative and highly constructive. It was an excellent show of Indian unity," Mahajan said.

The meeting saw Singh emphasising that India's military deployment on the borders was "purely a defensive deployment".

Asserting that the military deployment by India was necessitated because there was deployment from the Pakistani side, Mahajan said Indian military deployment was "200 percent defensive".

Mahajan said no one from the government or the opposition raised the issue of military initiative.

Asked if the government had briefed the opposition on the level of military preparedness, Mahajan said the opposition leaders had told the prime minister that they did not want any information on the issue.

Mahajan quoted the opposition as saying that "it is for the government to take a decision at the appropriate time. If the war is thrust on us, we should face it unitedly"

Speaking in similar vein, Bardhan said no one from the opposition asked for any military details. "Military details should be left to the military," he said.

Mahajan said the government was also in the process of preparing a list of wanted terrorists who have found shelter in Pakistan.

Ramgopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party was of the view that the government should concentrate on the diplomatic front, as the world opinion had become "slightly softer" about Islamabad after its action against the terrorists.

Bardhan said the steps taken by Islamabad were not enough and much more required to be done by it.

ALSO SEE
Complete Coverage: The Attack on Parliament

Back to top

Tell us what you think of this report

ADVERTISEMENT      
NEWS | MONEY | SPORTS | MOVIES | CHAT | CRICKET | SEARCH
ASTROLOGY | CONTESTS | E-CARDS | NEWSLINKS | ROMANCE | WOMEN
SHOPPING | BOOKS | MUSIC | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL| MESSENGER | FEEDBACK