Modi's claim on Sir Creek unsubstantiated, mischievous: PMO
The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Wednesday said the claims made by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi that Sir Creek was being "handed over" to Pakistan was "unsubstantiated" and "mischievous" as they came a day before the first phase of theassembly elections in the state.
"The prime minister has received a letter dated 12th December 2012 from Narendra Modi, making unsubstantiated allegations and statements about discussions with Pakistan on the Sir Creek issue," a PMO statement said.
"The contents of the letter and the timing of its release to the public, even before it was formally received in this office, raise questions about the motives behind its issue. The writing and release of this baseless letter by the Chief Minister of Gujarat in his "personal" capacity, a day before elections in the state, is mischievous," it added.
The first phase of the Gujarat elections are slated for Thursday, while the second phase is on Dec 17. Counting is on Dec 20. Modi, a senior BJP leader, who has been the chief minister of the state for two terms, is tipped to return to power once again.
The PMO also said that the discussions with Pakistan has been carried out by successive Indian governments since the dialogue process began in 1998 and continued after former prime minister and Bharatitya Janata Party (BJP) leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit to Lahore in 1999.
"The allegation in the letter that Sir Creek is about to be given to Pakistan is untrue. Therefore, the other conclusions drawn by Modi from this alleged fact are also not real," the statement said.
"It also seems that Modi has written his letter without making any efforts to ascertain the facts from the government of India," it added.
Modi, who signed the letter as a "concerned citizen", said that the prime minister should stop the dialogue with Pakistan on Sir Creek issue and demanded that it should not be handed over to the neighbouring nation.
Sir Creek is a 96-km-long disputed area between India and Pakistan in the Rann of Kutch marshlands, which opens up into the Arabian Sea. The Sir Creek divides the Kutch region of Gujrat and Pakistan's Sindh province.