‘Sudden Move’ on Indo-Pak Talks Surprises Advani

Former deputy prime minister and top Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani Thursday expressed surprise over the government’s “sudden” move to recommence talks with Pakistan, he termed terrorism as the principle issue between the two sides and said talks should not be held unless terror infrastructure in the neighbouring country is dismantled, reported PTI news agency.

Advani added that the BJP will raise the issue of talks along with spiraling prices during the budget session of Parliament.

“The principle issue is terrorism. We are not interested in talks for talks sake,” Advani told reporters, adding that India should go by the Joint Statement signed between then Prime Minister AB Vajpayee and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in January 2004.

“President Musharraf had publicly stated (through the statement) that Pakistan will not sponsor terrorism and not allow Pakistani soil to be used for terrorism against India…(before talks) the entire terror infrastructure (on Pakistani soil) should be dismantled,” he stressed.

Advani further questioned the government’s “sudden” decision to initiate talks.

“My biggest surprise was that after 26/11 they (government) involved the CIA and the US, gave them all the proof and then did a turn around and said there is no link between the two (talks and terrorism). That terror should stop but even if it doesn’t talks should continue,” he said.

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