BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY
National Executive Meeting
(26, 27 December 2005)
Rajat Jayanti Nagar, Mumbai
UPA's Mismanagement of our Foreign Policy
The National Executive of the BJP, meeting in Mumbai, during the 'Rajat Jayanti Samaroh' on 26-27th December 2005, expresses its dissatisfaction and grave concern at the absence of an integrated foreign policy vision on direction of the present government. Mistakes in the realm of international relations, born of an opaque policy plank have cost India dear in the past Congress regimes and will surely do so again under the UPA. This government's errors of judgment had complicated our relations with neighbours, it is now compounding those mistakes by repeating them. These failures are on several fronts and are cumulative in their consequences.
Pakistan, strategically buoyed and encouraged by the UPA's attitude, unrealistically strives for strategic parity with India. Turmoil and conflict persist in Nepal and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh, is today's 'crucible of terrorism', fast emerging as an alternative base for a proxy-war against India; and as the home of a variety of terrorist groups.
Illegal immigration from Bangladesh, encouraged by successive Congress and Marxist governments, has now been adopted by the UPA too, as an extension of dubious electoral practices by them. For this easy device of garner electoral advantage, our north-eastern states and border districts of West Bengal have been converted into extremely sensitive regions with potentially disastrous security implications. In the face of all this, UPA and its Marxist allies continue to ignore reality, overlook threats to India, choosing instead to fiddle in Delhi while the NE burns. The government must explain, and make amends immediately.
In addition, the UPA government has no identifiable policy of dealing with the government in Bangladesh, which continues to export terrorist an also shelter Indian terrorists, has picked up India's Border Security Force officials, beaten and even killed them brutally, but the UPA has only made conciliatory noises. This is not acceptable.
Pakistan and Cross Border Terrorism
By reiterating endlessly that the "peace process is irreversible", that "acts of terrorism" will not make India abandon this path, what in reality India has abandoned is the issue of 'cross border terrorism', an issue that is of critical importance to our national security. This helps Pakistan, as its infrastructure of terrorist camps can then continue to remain, ready for use whenever needed. Let the UPA and the Congress note that abandoning national interests cannot buy peace.
As initiator of the peace process with Pakistan, the BJP stands for its positive and purposeful continuation, also for constantly expanding the "constituency of peace", but certainly not at the cost of India. What is totally confusing is this government's approach to a continuing challenge. This is yet again, an approach displaying a complete a lack of co-ordination, total confusion and a drift in policy management. This is destructive of national will. The UPA government must recognize that the Pakistan peace process has had no discouraging impact on Jehadi terrorists; that Pakistan has fulfilled its promise as stated in the joint statement of 6 January, 2004. It must then learn the correct lesson from that and act.
In dealing with an important neighbour like Nepal, Indian foreign policy seems to have oscillated from one end to another. The case for promoting democracy in Nepal has been effectively articulated by the BJP which has always supported the 'twin pillars policy': a stable democracy and a constitutional monarchy, both these pillars are important. The civil society in Nepal is under threat, from the Maoists do have been indulging in reckless violence and targeting emotions of citizens. The UPA government must explicitly state its policy and approach.
The Clinton administration first recognized India as a "natural ally" and therefore, wanted an integration on issues of 'strategic' policy. The NSSP, announced by the NDA government in January 2004, aimed at increasing co-operation in civil-nuclear activities, civilian space programmes, high technology, trade and missile defence. The issues covered, as important landmarks in the INDO-US relations in year 2005, where already in place when the NDA government had earlier engaged the United States. The central point of NDA government's policy was gradual improvement in INDO-US relations, keeping in mind the convergence as well as the contradictions in the policies of the two countries.
What must be at the core of our understanding is that 'strategic partnership' is ordinarily between two equals. Any 'lock-in' with US strategic relations or accepting an asymmetrical relationship is not 'strategic partnership', it would be capitulation. The events since the visit of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in July 2005 clearly demonstrate that the independence of decision making is no longer assured.
Which is why the UPA's lack of understanding in dealing with US is so worrying. With the UPA government's obsequious policies, there is every apprehension of INDO-US relations slipping in to an 'asymmetry', thus damaging the long term prospects of friendship and cooperation between the two countries. The UPA government has clearly not comprehended the abhorrence of the people of India to a subservient relationship with the United States.
In recent days a preposterous concept has been floated by certain American think tanks. They propose the establishment of something called the "United States of Kashmir" whose sovereignty shall be shared between India and Pakistan. The UPA government tacitly gives an impression that it is not averse to discussing these. This is destructive for the unity of India.
The BJP believes that the unity and integrity of India is non-negotiable. The entire States of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. The BJP will never allow any compromise with this fundamental tenet of India's nationhood Improving ties with Pakistan and strengthening people-to-people relations between the two countries is one thing; bartering away Kashmir or even agreeing to discuss the State's future status is altogether another matter. The BJP strongly criticizes the UPA government's flip-flops on the subject and demands a restatement of India's resolve not to renegotiate the status of Jammu and Kashmir.
India in the last 18 months, has seen a marked deterioration in its total security environment. Elements of current national foreign policy should be based on national interests alone, particularly on important issues of development, defence, nuclear issues and requirements for a stable and secure international order. UPA does not, at all, appear to have factored these aspects in the foreign policy it confusedly pursues. Terrorism and insurgency are serious security concerns; they are born of neglect on the foreign policy front, too.
Only our national interests are permanent. Prevailing global security environment and existing power structures will require a corresponding redefinition of our own foreign policy priorities. BJP charges that the Congress led, Marxist supported UPA has grossly neglected this national interest.