Anand Sharma backs A K Antony,says no need to apologise

Sharma added the opposition party should not waste time of Parliament.

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Published: August 7, 2013 9:33 pm

Commerce Minister Anand Sharma on Wednesday said there is no need for the Defence Minister A K Antony to apologise for his statement on the killing of five Indian soldiers along the LoC and charged BJP with indulging in propaganda.

He said the onus is on Pakistan for creating an environment for improving trade relations between the two neighbouring countries.

“Why should he”? Sharma told reporters here when asked on BJP’s demand that Antony apologise in Parliament.

Questioning BJP’s stand on the issue,Sharma said “at a time when we should stand up and speak in one voice,BJP is indulging in pure partisan propaganda at the cost of this country’s honour and security.”

He added the opposition party should not waste time of Parliament.

“Parliament is the highest forum of debate and discussion. If there are political disruptions where no business are transacted and issues of national importance never discussed,then whose cause are we serving”? Sharma said.

BJP should not use such issues for partisan propaganda and for political and electoral benefits,he said.

“This shows the character of BJP. If they are really concerned,they can have closed-door meeting with the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister. They can be fully briefed about the situation. The country cannot speak in multiple voices,which BJP is doing,” he added.

On stopping trade between India and Pakistan,Sharma said “we have to create a conducive environment for people to engage,for businesses to engage and the onus is on Pakistan. As far as India is concerned,we have been very sincere in our approach.

“It is not a question of future course of action. What has happened is reprehensible,unacceptable and that has been conveyed in as many words,” he added.

Sharma further said “nothing should be done by Pakistan,as we have said in the past,which escalates tension which is not conducive for a healthy relationship between the two countries. India has always favoured building up an environment of trust and confidence.”

The trust quotient is deficient because of the repeated actions and provocations on the part of Pakistan and it is something which is not acceptable to this country and to the people,Sharma said.

“It is important to co-exist so that the larger issues of development and poverty alleviation can be addressed in the region,” Sharma said adding terrorism emanates from Pakistan and the past undertakings not to allow its territory to be used for such purposes is not being honoured.

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