Miliband visit a diplomatic failure,hype was uncalled for,says Jaitley

Terming British Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s recent visit as a “diplomatic failure...

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:January 18, 2009 12:34 am

Terming British Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s recent visit as a “diplomatic failure”,BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley on Saturday expressed strong objection to his statement linking Mumbai-like terrorism to the resolution of the Kashmir issue.

In NDTV’s Walk The Talk programme with The Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta,Jaitley said,“I am disappointed with the British attitude. The kind of hype given to his visit was uncalled for. The most objectionable part was linking terrorism to the resolution of the Kashmir issue.” In a recent article in The Guardian,Miliband had written that “resolution of the dispute over Kashmir would help deny extremists in the region one of their main calls to arms.”

Saying that the West had always rejected the root-cause theory,Jaitley said,“when Miliband speaks this kind of language,is this conventional British democracy or what?” Jaitley added that Britain as a nation will never accept what they are expecting India to accept. He also added that the root-cause theory was the reason why the Agra talks between Indian and Pakistan had failed.

On Miliband certifying the credibility of Pakistan’s judicial system and saying that “Pakistani judicial system has shown that it is independent”,Jaitley asked whether the British would have followed the same procedure to try the accused of the London tube bombings.

Saying that instances like the Mumbai terror attack were issues where history gave politicians an opportunity to rise to the occasion,Jaitley added that post-Mumbai terror,the BJP offered support to the Government and he personally met the Home Minister. He added that the Government was apologetic about bringing in an anti-terror law while the BJP was more enthusiastic about it.

The BJP general secretary also said the two good things to have emerged out of the Mumbai attack were that the public won’t spare those who go soft on terror and that there had been a change in the way media looks at these issues.

Asked over BJP’s recent embarrassment over Bhairon Singh Shekhawat’s remarks,Jaitley said,“I hope and pray that those whom we have seen as role models continue as our role models.”

On major industrialists praising Narendra Modi,Jaitley said the praise was in a “given context” of the “governance he has given to Gujarat” and he personally took it with a sense of pride.

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