NEW DELHI: BJP today downplayed the 'Akhand Bharat' remarks of its general secretary Ram Madhav, saying while he has a right to his own views, the party and the government are clear that India and Pakistan are two sovereign nations.
Responding to a series of questions on the issue, party spokesperson M J Akbar recalled the speech of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee delivered in Lahore in 1999 in which he had said that India and Pakistan negotiate as sovereign nations. "And that fact is a fact," he said.
When asked as to why an important general secretary made these remarks when the stand of the party and the government are clear, he said Madhav "was answering to a particular question...he has a right to his own views. But the government's position requires no clarification."
Madhav had said that RSS believes that India, Pakistan and Bangladesh will one day reunite again not by war but through "popular goodwill".
"The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) still believes that one day these parts, which have for historical reasons separated only 60 years ago, will again, through popular goodwill, come together and Akhand Bharat will be created," he told Al Jazeera channel.
The BJP general secretary said, "As an RSS member, I also hold on to that view." Though the interview was recorded earlier, its broadcast coincided with the surprise visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Lahore to meet his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif.