Malik’s ‘insult’, Shinde’s silence irk BJP
The BJP on Monday demanded cancellation of the upcoming Indo-Pak cricket series in the wake of visiting Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s remarks which were “insulting towards India”.
The party has also accused Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde of remaining silent and not responding appropriately to Malik, who “equated 26/11 Mumbai attack with Babri Masjid demolition” and “described LeT terrorist Abu Jundal as an operative of an Indian intelligence agency”.
Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha made the demand first on the floor of the Lok Sabha, and then outside Parliament. “The upcoming Indo-Pak cricket series should be cancelled. Further, there should be no talks with Pakistan. As long as Pakistan doesn’t hand over those responsible for the 26/11 Mumbai carnage and Hafiz Sayeed to India, there should be no talks with Pakistan,” he said. “What kind of goodwill we are creating by playing cricket matches after Malik’s visit,” he said.
“Our Home Minister has shown weakness by not responding to Rehman Malik in kind. He should have immediately responded. This has caused lot of damage to the country. If he (Malik) used hard words, he (Shinde) should have used hard words,” Sinha said.
“If you (Malik) insulted India, you (Shinde) should have said we don’t accept it. He (Shinde) should have contradicted the Pakistani Interior Minister’s statement then and there.”
Sinha said Pakistan did not stand by the commitment it made and neither the present Indian Government reminded that country of the assurances given by it.
“And this is our problem... We think that if we keep quiet in the face of their assault, then relations will improve. Relations will not improve in this manner. Relations will improve only if we confront Pakistan with the truth of the situation,” he said.