Bharatiya Janata Party
1st & 2nd June 2008
Parliament Annexe, New Delhi - 110001
FOREIGN POLICY - NATIONAL SECURITY AND UPA’S DISASTROUS GOVERNANCE
The National Executive of the BJP charges the UPA with gross dereliction of its duty in addressing the foreign policy and national security challenges to the country, meriting only one description: disastrous. Critical errors of earlier Congress governments, as in Jammu and Kashmir; Tibet; the NE of India, Ladakh or the IPKF continue to shackle our options and to burden our policies. On top of which the country has to now carry the consequences of these error ridden years of the UPA.
The BJP holds that the UPA, during its 4 years in office has demonstrated only one trait: an unequalled capacity to mis-govern; to become motionlessness when required to act; to be devoid of policy when confronted by challenges to our national interests, national security or national values. During the last four years of this unrivalled misgovernance, the UPA, by partnering with insurgents has shattered internal order; by soft pedaling terrorist threats it has destroyed the criminal justice system of the country; it has supinely acquiesced in the spread of unprecedented disorder in our immediate and near neighbourhood; and diminished the country’s impress on matters of global and national import.
It is the BJP’s charge that the union government has been derelict of its duties; violative of its oath of office to safeguard the country’s interests; and has abdicated its responsibility by outsourcing its foreign and security polices to the Communists.
Indo - Nepal
The BJP expresses its satisfaction about the recent elections in Nepal, we had simultaneously underscored the need for great restraint in the utterances and conduct of the CPN (M) as they had only about a third of the popular vote and that, too, obtained through intimidation. It is important that unity of policy and action, of all the democratic forces in Nepal be maintained. Stability, progress and peace in Nepal is a regional imperative, as important for Nepal as for India.
The BJP expects the UPA to immediately clarify where the Government of India stands on the many questions that Nepal is now confronted with. A reiteration of India’s multifaced and close relations with Nepal, an historically established verity and a current reality will by itself not suffice, what is needed here is a clear statement of policy and intent. Or is the PM not a free agent in this context as well?
The BJP welcomes the restoration of democracy in Pakistan, we express our fraternal accord with the people of Pakistan in their aspirations for a peaceful social and political order, a thriving economy and mutually beneficial relations with India. We find it necessary to voice our concern at some of the statements of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Pakistan on the issue of J & K, thus displaying an inflexible approach. We do also express our concern at the recent incidents of Cross-LOC firing in Samba, Meandhar or Tangdhar regions of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir. The LOC ceasefire, first initiated by the BJP led NDA must be maintained and without violation. The BJP also expresses its continuing concern about the menace of spreading terrorism in the entire region. This has to end as it is the principal deterrent to normalcy and accord. We would like to remind of the commitment made in the statement issued on January 6, 2004 during the visit of Prime Minister Vajpayee to Islamabad, that Pakistan’s territory, or territory under its control, will not be used for any violence against India. The BJP stands by this statement.
What however, most disturb are PM Dr. Manmohan Singh’s views: he has once again muddied the waters by characteristically unfocussed and tangential comments when recently he judged that the latest terrorist attacks and bomb blasts in Jaipur were actually not against the citizens of Jaipur but aimed at damaging Indo-Pak relations. Then in what category does he place the Samba, and Tangdhar firings?
Would the PM please elaborate and explain what he means by such delphic utterances. It is our right to know.
The BJP demands that UPA government makes clear to the regime in Bangladesh that unchecked, unhindered and illegal infiltration into India will have to stop. India is not a ‘serai’ of convenience. What must also cease is providing shelter to terrorists/insurgents from India in Bangladesh.
The recently witnessed proliferation in the terrorist activities of ‘Bangladeshi groups’ in India, is an unfriendly act on the part of that country. The UPA must make this absolutely clear to the regime in Dhaka.
India – China and the UPA
The BJP urges the country to atleast now recognize a stark reality, whether in the context of India-China relations or in other respects, that the UPA is not a free agent; having mortgaged its thinking and policy determinations and implementation to the CPM, it can not safeguard or preserve India’s national interests.
The BJP stands for and is committed to cooperative, mutually beneficial and progressively evolving relations with the PRC. The issue of a long, unsettled border is a reality, it needs to be resolved peacefully. In which context we must recognize that PRC will transform its newly acquired economic progress into military might. To illustrate are the examples of a recent upgradation of China’s missile base just 1900 km NE of New Delhi, in the province of Qinghai, or the development of new solid-fuelled missiles, or establishing almost 60 missile launch sites in Tibet, and of course China’s new nuclear submarine base on Hainan island.
In the context of recent developments in Sikkim the BJP further demands that the UPA government must explain:
(a) what the details of the recent claims of the PRC on the geographical feature called ‘Finger’ in Sikkim are; and
(b) what is the government’s assessment of the rationale and timing of such a claim by the PRC?
The craven response of the UPA Government to the audacity of China’s claims over Arunachal Pradesh, and its repetitions; to the continuing incursions of Chinese troops into our territory in Ladakh and the North-east; to such extreme diplomatic snubs as summoning our Ambassador at 2 am, whereafter, the Government’s craven response to all these, endangers India – for it tempts China. That temptation is compounded by the slavish attitude that the UPA Government has repeatedly demonstrated to China e.g. in handling the Olympic torch matter and by the way it is trying to muzzle His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s voice.
The BJP demands that the Government desist from heaping further humiliations on the country; that it immediately speed up the construction of infrastructure that our forces need for repulsing foreign troops in the Northeast, in particular in Arunachal and Sikkim; that, as India’s security is inextricably entwined with what happens in Tibet and because of the civilizational ties that our country has had with them, the Government of India must come out clearly on the side of the people of Tibet in this hour of their oppression and trial.
The Congress Party, the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and this entire ensemble of UPA must understand that office, chair and ministerial prerogatives cannot be treated as more important than our country’s honour, prestige, our territorial integrity and the preservation of our nation’s security interests.
During the NDA years, Indo-Russian relations were strengthened. The UPA has allowed what is India’s most enduring ‘strategic partnership’ to stagnate and to operate as if India’s international relations can be made uni-directional. This is tragic, since India and Russia have long held convergent views on several pressing issues facing the international community – whether economic, geo-political or ecological. This relationship must not be permitted to drift.
The BJP demands that the UPA now ended this charade on the Indo-US Nuclear Agreement. We are daily offered tantalizing statements by the PM; somewhat more realistic ones by the EAM; and unambiguous rejection of the Congress stand by various constituents of the UPA. Why plead with the BJP then, set your own house in order, we say.
Because, the Congress can, on its own, resolve this issue simply by taking a stand: ‘for or against’; why does it not do so? Instead the PM has now taken to rather piteously citing the examples of recent statements by people outside the government.
Any serious critique of the UPA’s conduct of foreign policy would be incomplete without further discussion of this government’s nuclear diplomacy with the US. The reason is simple. Since the July 2005 joint statement, Indian foreign policy has become paralysed by a ‘grand illusion’ that the Congress-UPA has sought to sustain, namely that (i) the nuclear deal is a panacea to India’s economic and technological modernization; and (ii) all other foreign policy goals (and relationships) must subserve the successful culmination of this nuclear deal.
The BJP’s consistent and rational intervention in the national discourse over the nuclear deal is well documented. It requires reiteration that the BJP cannot accept the loss or diminution of the country’s strategic autonomy, implicit in the terms and conditions that accompany India’s so called ‘nuclear liberation’. These amount to permanently giving India a second-class status in the global nuclear order. Therefore, the BJP has consistently maintained that the deal in its present form is unacceptable and must be renegotiated.
The Indo - US is a vitally important relationship; it is not Dr. Manmohan Singh’s or the UPA’s gift to India. Which is why it is such a tragedy, and a shame, that on account of the PM’s maladroit handling of matters this relationship has now been reduced to a single issue; also with a completely unnecessary ‘now or never’ kind of desperation attached to it. The BJP would remind the PM that ‘desperation’ is not any alternative to policy. This is a great wrong done by Dr. Manmohan Singh; by the UPA to India; and to the US, and to Indo-US relations, too. Its efforts to secure a permanent seat for India in the UN Security Council have come to naught. The totally unprofessional manner in which the UPA government put up a candidate for the post of Secretary General of the UN, as if that high post was reserved for a Congress party nominee, without due consultation even within the country could only have a humiliating consequence. The UPA government was abjectly compelled to withdraw him, and that, too, prematurely, adding yet another sorry chapter to its many diplomatic disasters.
That is why the BJP’s charge is that during these last four years the UPA has caused unprecedented damage to India’s national interests; it has demonstrated unmatched incompetence, and an unrivalled paralysis of thought and action in office. They must, for India’s sake now go; ‘Depart; cause no further harm to our ancient land and its citizens’.