Urging the Centre to continue with the “diplomatic and political” moves to defuse escalating tension between India and Pakistan and end the “the scourge of terrorism”, the CPM on Saturday said that the need of the hour was to ensure the “safety and security” of the people affected in border areas.
“We have been following the operation of the Indian Army. We hope that now, incidents like the one at Pathankot and the recent one at Uri will not recur. It is our and the central government’s responsibility to ensure that our people are protected,” CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said here.
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“We urge upon the Government of India, from its position of strength, to continue with the diplomatic and political moves to defuse tension and eliminate the scorch of cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan,” he added.
India, on the intervening night of September 28 and 29, carried out surgical strikes on seven terror launchpads across the LoC with the Army inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate.
Addressing the media during the ongoing state plenum in the city, he said, “Many of the border villages have been evacuated and more are in the process of being evacuated. This is peak agriculture season and will be a loss to all the farmers who have had to leave their villages. The government needs to provide compensation to these farmers.”
Yechury said that the country’s economy was in a precarious situation, where “more than two-third of the fiscal deficit” has already been exhausted.
He said that industrial growth in July showed a negative growth of 2.4 per cent and that manufacturing of capital goods was down by 29.6 per cent. The senior leader said that over the next three years, the party will focus on four areas of concern — the Centre’s economic policies, the increasing communal polarisation, the government’s pro-US stand which “often leaves India in a vulnerable position,” and the “authoritarian” nature of the Modi government.
Speaking about India’s foreign policy, Yechury said that it was increasingly one of playing second fiddle to the United States. “We are conducting naval exercises with the US and Japanese navy in the South China Sea. Our policy is such that in case of any future attack, we will have to provide facilities to the US navy and airforce — refueling, providing bases, repairing etc. We are behaving like the US’ subordinate junior partner. And even as we are doing this, Pakistan is negotiating closer military deals with the US, he said.”
India losing its image as “leader among developing countries”
He also said that India was losing its image of a “leader among developing countries”. “This year was the first time in our history that the prime minister did not attend the meeting of the non-aligned movement, which has never happened before. The Paris treaty we are about to sign is also a matter of great concern. We have been lobbying in the past for equal share of carbon space. The United States produces 20 times more carbon emissions per capita than India does. But according to the treaty, if India reduces its carbon emission by one point, so will the US. However, for every point that we reduce, the US should reduce by 20 points,’’ said Yechury, adding that India’s aligning with the US gives rise to danger for the country as terror groups directly opposed to the US will now target India as well.
Ban on Pak artists
Commenting on the ban on Pakistani actors and artists, he said, “Sports and arts should be treated as what they are — sports and arts, and kept separate from politics. When incidents like this happen, passions flourish. But we need to rise above such sentiments.”
Expressing his concerns about the “increasing communal polarization”, he said, “Cow vigilantism continues and is on the rise. With the recent Indo-Pakistan situation, sentiments are being whipped in to a frenzy. We believe that with the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections around the corner, this whipping of sentiment is being done for electoral gain.”