NEW DELHI: With BJP mounting an attack on Congress for speaking in multiple voices after PM Narendra Modi raised the issue of human rights violation by Pakistan in Balochistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in his I-Day speech, the opposition party hit back at the PM, breaking the tentative political compact reached on the issue in Parliament and the all-party meeting.
Congress media chief Randeep Surjewala and senior leader Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday accused the BJP of “shifting stance” on the issue, particularly Balochistan from its days in the opposition and now. It also cited parliamentary replies given by the then UPA government and its PM between 2005 and 2006 to assert they were the first to corner Pakistan on violations in Balochistan. “Congress and UPA condemned the human rights violations in Balochistan as also in PoK by Pakistani forces and establishment on multiple occasions in the past,” Surjewala said, way back on December 27, 2005. He asserted that no less than then PM Manmohan Singh in reply to a parliamentary question on March, 2, 2006, categorically condemned the spiralling violence in Balochistan. Citing Singh’s statement, Surjewala added that the then PM had also spoken out against the heavy military action, including use of helicopter gunships and fighter jets by the Pakistan government to suppress the people of Balochistan. Accusing BJP of changing its earlier stance, both Surjewala and Ramesh said that when Balochistan appeared in the joint statement (of Indian and Pakistan PMs) dated July 16, 2009, at Sharm-el-Sheikh, the party had attacked the former PM.