ALLAHABAD: Asserting the testimonies of terrorist David Headley before a Mumbai court proved that "there were no non-state actors in Pakistan, only cross-border terror funded by intelligence agency ISI", BJP today demanded India initiate a "diplomatic exercise" to have that country declared a "terrorist state".
"The statements of Headley, who is serving a prison sentence in an American jail, before a Mumbai court through video-conferencing call the bluff of Pakistan which has for long been trying to shirk its responsibility by misleading all with the theory of non-state actors acting on its soil," BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh told reporters here.
"Headley's statements have proved what was always suspected - that there are no non-state actors in Pakistan, but only cross-border terror funded by ISI. India must now seize this opportunity to isolate Pakistan globally by initiating a diplomatic exercise aimed at getting Pakistan formally declared as a terrorist state," Singh said.
Underscoring the jailed Pakistani-American terrorist's statements before the court about alleged LeT operative Ishrat Jahan, who was gunned down in a police encounter in Gujarat in 2004, the BJP leader also lashed out at the opposition parties for having "raked up the issue repeatedly for vote bank politics" and demanded that their leaders "apologise" to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah.
"Most opposition parties have engaged in this game at some point of time. Congress president used the encounter case to vilify Modi while he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
Sharad Pawar accused him and Shah, who was then the state's Home Minister, of being responsible for the killing of an innocent Muslim girl.
"(Bihar Chief Minister) Nitish Kumar stated that Ishrat was a 'beti' (daughter) of Bihar. (AIMIM leader Asaduddin) Owaisi proudly described the LeT operative was her sister. Now they all must apologise to Modi, Shah and the entire nation," Singh said.
Hitting out at senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Kapil Sibal, who had yesterday questioned the BJP's "implicit faith" in the statements of Headley, Singh said the previous UPA government, led by the Congress, stands "guilty of having tried to bury" the evidence that Ishrat was part of a contingent that was planning to assassinate Modi.
"The Congress stands thoroughly discredited on all counts. Its leaders, who are unable to stomach the party's steady decline, seem to have acquired the habit of making obnoxious statements whenever faced with unpleasant truths.
"We demand that the party's president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi act against loudmouths like Sibal, Sandeep Dikshit and Manish Tewari by expelling them from the party," the BJP national secretary said.
"We would like to warn the Congress that by having such elements in its ranks, the party is ending up providing a platform to the anti-India propaganda that Pakistan has been indulging in," Singh added.