'Congress gives Pakistan opening to bring in Kashmir resolutions'
29 June 2004
The Daily Times
New Delhi: India's main opposition party Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday condemned the Congress-led government for giving 'an opening to Pakistan to bring in the old UN resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir and to involve third parties in the negotiations'.Juxtaposing the UN Charter with the Simla Agreement in the joint statement issued after talks between the Pakistani and Indian foreign secretaries on Monday gave that opening, the BJP said in a statement. The opposition party criticised the government for its silence over Pakistani Foreign Office Spokesman Masood Khan's statement 'what satisfies Pakistan will ultimately satisfy the Kashmiris'. 'Pakistan cannot be allowed to represent the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and yet this exactly happened at the just-concluded foreign secretary-level talks,' said the statement.Mr Khan would not have made that statement 'if the government of India had not facilitated the interaction between the Hurriyat leaders and the Pakistani delegation', the BJP said. Indian position had been weakened on several counts in the joint statement issued at the end of the India- Pakistan talks, BJP spokesman Yashwant Sinha said after the party meeting at BJP President Venkaiah Naidu's residence.The meeting, which studied the new chapter in India-Pakistan relations besides discussing strategy for the upcoming parliament session from next Monday, was attended among others by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former deputy PM Lal Krishna Advani and former foreign minister Jaswant Singh.He expressed 'deep concern' at the omission of any reference to the Lahore Declaration and only a passing reference to the joint statement issued in Islamabad on January 6 after a meeting between Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pervez Musharraf.'India-Pakistan relations have not remained frozen after the Simla Agreement. A number of developments of far-reaching importance have taken place between then and now. Ignoring them not only demonstrates a petty political mindset, it also imperils vital national interests,' the statement said.