NATIONAL EXECUTIVE December 29, 2001
Bharatiya Janata Party (Central Office) National Executive Meeting
Parliament Annexe New Delhi-110 001 December 29, 2001
National security, national integrity, a democratic polity and a free plural society are some of the major planks of the Bharatiya Janata Party's agenda which it has pursued ever since its inception. After it came into power at the head of a coalition, the Party has urged the Government to ensure that the people of India are always prepared to meet any challenge to these cherished concepts which flow from a long and rich Indian tradition.
The Pakistan sponsored terrorist assault on the citadel of our freedom and democracy - the Parliament of India - on December 13 was an attack on our sovereignty, on our basic values and on the idea of India as a free society with multi religious, and multi lingual people joined together by an all pervasive common culture.
The attack on Parliament was the most audacious and the most serious terrorist attack so far as it intended to target the top political leadership of the country - the Prime Minister, Members of the Cabinet and Members of Parliament. Fortunately, the designs of the terrorists were foiled by the vigilant security personnel before they could enter the Parliament House.
As the Home Minister Shri L.K. Advani said in his statement in Parliament on December 18 "It is now evident that the terrorist assault on the Parliament House was executed jointly by Pak-based and supported terrorist outfits, namely, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad. These two organizations are known to derive their support and patronage from Pak ISI. The investigation so far carried out by the police shows that all the five terrorists who formed the suicide squad were Pakistani nationals. All of them were killed on the spot and their Indian associates have since been nabbed and arrested."
The Bharatiya Janata Party would like to place on record its deep appreciation and gratitude towards the brave security personnel and sends its sincere condolences to the families of the martyrs who laid down their lives in the service of the nation.
The terrorist attack on Parliament has naturally resulted in a nationwide demand for an effective response. While some people have called for retaliatory attacks on the training camps in P.O.K., others have spoken of the need for an all out war against Pakistan. The Government of India has shown immense restraint in the face of grave provocation. However, as Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee said in his speech in Parliament, our restraint must not be taken as a sign of weakness. Our fight is not against the people of Pakistan but against the phenomenon of terrorism and against those who support and encourage terrorism as a matter of state policy born out of hatred for India. We call upon the government of Pakistan to take immediate and strict action against all the terrorists who have launched a campaign of terror and destruction across the borders of Pakistan. The people of India wish to live in peace and harmony with all their neighbours but if Pakistan seeks the path of confrontation the consequences will be disastrous for it.
The BJP welcomes the steps taken by the Government of India to put Pakistan on notice. The recall of the High Commissioner of India from Islamabad, drastic reduction in the size of Pakistan's mission in New Delhi, confining of Pak mission personnel within limits of Delhi municipal area, banning over-flight facilities to Pakistan and the suspension of the operations of the Samjhauta Express and the Delhi-Lahore bus service, are some of the initial measurers to warn Pakistan that the people of India are reaching the end of their tether and stronger action could follow if the course of terrorist activities is not reversed.
The Party commends the well-conceived and concerted diplomatic offensive launched by the Government to impress upon the international community Pakistan's culpability in the terrorist attack on our Parliament. The Prime Minister has forcefully emphasized that there cannot be double standards in judging acts of terrorism. The Party notes that support for India among the governments and peoples in the West and elsewhere has been growing. At the same time, we believe that the United States and other western nations can and must do much more to put effective pressure on Pakistan to stop its sponsorship of terrorism against India.
The Party would like to urge the Government to do everything necessary to root out ISI units operating within our country. If it becomes essential to do so and if the Government of Pakistan does not put an end to acts of terrorism by terrorists and their groups from the soil of Pakistan, the Government of India should take all such steps that are necessary. It is believed that there are tens of thousands of Pakistanis staying on in India after the expiry of their visas and many of them are operating as ISI agents. These overstaying Pakistanis should be asked to leave the country forthwith and appropriate steps should be taken in this regard. We believe that these drastic measures are essential to root out cross-border terrorism.
Pakistan has carried on a clandestine war against India for many years. The front organisations engaged in this proxy war have enrolled religious fanatics in what is described as Jehad against India. We have made repeated efforts to resolve all our problems with Pakistan peacefully. Bus journey to Lahore and the invitation to Musharraf for the Agra Summit despite Kargil are an evidence of this desire. In response, we have received nothing but hostility and terrorist attacks. As the Prime Minister said on December 25 "We do not want a war but war is being thrust upon us."
The Bharatiya Janata Party does not want a war with Pakistan. And if Pakistan chooses to impose a war on us, we should also be prepared to give them a befitting reply. As Shri L.K. Advani said on December 25 "Neither the Government nor the people want a war... but we definitely want to put an end to Pak-sponsored terrorism in our country."
The people of this country have always risen as one man to defend the country whenever a serious challenge is posed to it. The nation's mood today is one of unity and determination. Once again, a very serious challenge has been thrown at us by terrorists and terrorist groups operating from Pakistan, aided and abetted by Pakistan's ISI. People have spontaneously rallied around the Government's firm resolve and determined action to eliminate terrorism. The nation cannot afford to forget that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
The new situation has practically made the nation's agenda a one point agenda. The country has now but one aim i.e. to defeat and root out terrorism from our soil. And let us firmly resolve to achieve this.
BJP appeals to one and all to solidly unite behind the efforts of the government in our fight against terrorism and not to rest till the country gets rid of the last terrorist.