6 August 2001
NEW DELHI: BJP President JANA KRISHNAMURTHY on how his party views the dialogue with Pakistan as well as the Agra Summit.
Q. How does the BJP view the Agra Summit's outcome?
A. It was neither a success nor a failure. We never expected a definitive result.
Q. Do you feel India should hold further talks with General Musharraf?
A. Further talks are possible only if General Musharraf's mindset undergoes a change. Cross-border violence must stop otherwise I don't see any useful purpose in continuing the talks.
Q. But when violence was being perpetrated in Kashmir why did A.B. Vajpayee invite Musharraf for talks?
A. Violence has been going on for over 10 years. Vajpayee decided on a peace offensive because we felt there can't be eternal enmity between neighbours. India felt that after Kargil Pakistan's army would have realised the futility of an armed attack on India. It was on this basis that Musharraf was invited.
Q. What do you think are the lessons of the Agra Summit?
A. That sincerity of purpose on India's part unless reciprocated can't yield results. Secondly, the Indian Government will have to tell Pakistan that our resolve to root out cross-border terrorism is real. Thirdly, that diplomatic courtesies and niceties should not be unilateral.