Meeting of the National Executive
Ranchi - November 24-26, 2004
Resolution on some current issues in Foreign Policy
1. Among the many sterling achievements of the Vajpayee government, the successful conduct of foreign policy was the most outstanding. The Vajpayee government, guided only by supreme national interest, conducted nuclear tests soon after coming to power in 1998. Thereafter it successfully overcame the opposition of leading global powers to this move. It also resolutely and successfully met the challenge of economic sanctions imposed by these countries. Its diplomacy was so consummate that at the end of its tenure in 2004 India was on the high table of all international gatherings, was widely respected and several important and new initiatives were taken on all fronts. The most notable, of course, were the initiatives to resolve the outstanding issues with China and Pakistan, the establishment of a healthy and fruitful relationship with the USA, the EU, Russia, Japan, ASEAN and other countries. It initiated determined steps to improve and intensify its relationship with its neighbours. The peace initiative with Pakistan, was in particular, of historic significance as was the Joint Press Statement issued after Prime Minister Vajpayee's meeting, with President Musharraf, in Islambad, on 6th January, 2004.
2. The BJP, therefore, welcomed the move when the present UPA government decided to follow the same policy. However, we shall be failing in our national duty if we did not comment on several disconcerting developments in the conduct of foreign policy by the UPA government.
3. The Joint Press Statement of January 6, 2004, the basis of further dialogue between India and Pakistan, is a clear and defining document. It is remarkable because for the first time, in a bilateral document, Pakistan agreed to eschew 'violence', 'conflict' and 'terrorism'. It agreed to resolve all issues bilaterally between the two countries. There was no mention, in the Statement, of any 'core issue' nor was there any mention of the participation of any third party in the dialogue process. All these premises have now been negated, because of the manner in which the dialogue process has been conducted by the present Government of India
4. It is because of the inept handling of this Government that state-sponsored, cross-border terrorism from Pakistan has become almost a non-issue. Infiltration continues unabated and the infrastructure of terrorism remains intact in Pakistan and PAK Occupied Kashmir. The impunity with which acts of terrorism continue to be committed, as was amply demonstrated by the terrorist incident, which took place on the day the Prime Minister himself visited Srinagar is deeply worrisome. The dialogue between the two countries has been allowed, by the present Government, to become wholly Jammu & Kashmir-centric. The Government has also failed to carry forward the initiative of the Vajpayee government to engage all groups in J&K including the Hurriyat in a dialogue. It is ridiculous that the Hurriyat leaders travel to New Delhi to meet the Prime Minister of the Pakistan while at the same time they refuse to meet to Prime Minister or the Home Minister of India. This clearly shows where their loyalty rests. The demand of Pakistan and the Hurriyat that the Hurriyat be included as a necessary 'third party' in the India-Pakistan dialogue process is clearly unwarranted and unacceptable. The earlier understanding of not talking to each other through the media also stands abandoned.
5. Pakistan Prime Minister's recent visit to India has failed to produce any result. No progress has been made even on such Confidence Building Measure as the Srinagar-Mujaffarabad bus service. He also failed to officially convey to India President Musharraf's publicly announced proposal on Jammu & Kashmir. The BJP National Executive completely rejects the proposals of President Musharraf on Jammu & Kashmir, which is and will always remain an integral part of India.
6. Issues between India and Pakistan are complex and are of long standing. There is no quick-fix solution. Both sides need great patience to deal with them. The international community, specially the USA also has to ensure that it does nothing to derail the delicate peace process between the two countries. In this context, the recent decision of the US Government to supply sophisticated arms to Pakistan in the name of fighting terrorism is a matter of grave concern. Of greatest concern, of course, is the reported decision of the US government to supply F-16s to Pakistan. When the Vajpayee government was in office we had effectively persuaded the US Government to desist from such moves. It is a matter of deep regret, therefore, that the present Government has failed to persuade the US Administration to desist from taking such a dangerous step. This will also have the most adverse impact on the current India-Pakistan peace process. The BJP hopes that the US Administration will use restraint and not jeopardise the peace process between India and Pakistan, and the bilateral relationship between India and the USA, by helping Pakistan augment its offensive capacity