Jaitley takes on Centre for not rebutting Malik's 'unfortunate' comment
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley on Saturday said Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik's comment equating the Babri mosque demolition with the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack is unfortunate and uncalled for, and added that it is extremely regrettable that it went unchallenged by the Indian side.
"It's strange and unfortunate that the Pakistani Minister has just at the commencement of the visit seen to be commenting on cross border terrorism emanating from Pakistan and in the same breath speaking in terms of domestic developments in India. Well, those comments are completely unfortunate, uncalled for and should have really been rebutted by the Indian Ministers present there," Jaitley told mediapersons here.
"It's regrettable that they went unchallenged. Particularly, when the comments have come from the representative of a nation, which has a dismal track record in relation to its own religious and ethnic minorities and their rights," he added.
Jaitley, who is the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, said 'the BJP has noticed with some sense of concern the statement of the visiting Minister from Pakistan'.
"Ordinarily, we observe a discipline that we don't comment on the visit of a foreign dignitary when the visit is on. However, if during the visit something, which is very provocative is said, particularly when it goes unrebutted by the Indian Ministers present, a response is required and therefore we are constrained to make this response," said Jaitley.
"The visit was really intended for establishment of a new visa regime and it was broadly understood that Pakistan will let the Indian Government know as to the steps it is taking in relation to those guilty in the 26/11 incidents. The expedition of trial in Pakistan, bringing people like Hafiz Saeed to book, giving of voice samples of those handlers. These were really the issues," he added.
Rehman Malik invited a controversy by equating the Babri demolition incident with the Mumbai terror attack while speaking to reporters after the new visa agreement between India and Pakistan was operationalised last night here.
"We don't want any 9/11, we don't want any Mumbai bomb blast (attacks), we don't want any Samjhauta Express blast and we don't want Babri masjid issue," he said.
Malik, however, concluded by saying that he wanted to work for peace between the two countries and in the entire region.