New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government should “stop echoing the aggressive anti-Pakistan posture of the BJP” if it is serious about a dialogue with Islamabad, the CPI-M said on Thursday.
“While recognizing that there are forces within Pakistan who would try to hamper the civilian government’s efforts to improve relations with India, what the Modi government should do is to stop echoing the aggressive anti-Pakistan posture of the BJP,” its journal “People’s Democracy” said in an editorial.
“As much as there are difficulties for a meaningful dialogue from within Pakistan, the mindset of the BJP-RSS leadership is also a hindrance to take the process forward,” the editorial said.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist mouthpiece said what was required was to pick up the threads of the bilateral discussions held earlier during the UPA-1 government’s time with regard to Kashmir and other issues.
“This must be combined with a renewed effort to make Pakistan take up concrete measures to curb the extremist-terrorist groups targeting India.”
According to the editorial, the Bharatiya Janata Party government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was caught between its own aggressive postures and the contradictory realities as far as Pakistan was concerned.
“This is what has emerged from the episode of the joint statement issued after the prime ministers of India and Pakistan met at Ufa in Russia on July 10 and the events thereafter.”
The Ufa meeting, it said, “was an unexpected but positive step”.
“However, the aggressive posturing of the BJP towards Pakistan is still at work.
“After accusing the UPA government repeatedly of surrendering national interests by holding talks with Pakistan, the BJP government finds itself unable to come out with a clear cut approach on having a dialogue with Pakistan.
“If the composite dialogue which had been going on for long is not proving to be productive, the way can be found for other levels of engagement,” it added.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s adviser V. K. Jain on Thursday told police that he saw AAP MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal “physically assaulting” Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash, according to Jain’s statement recorded by the Delhi Police.
The AAP defended by stating that Jain had initially told police that he did not witness any assault and police has threatened Jain to change his statement.
On Tuesday, the Chief Secretary had alleged that he was beaten up by the two AAP MLAs in the presence of Kejriwal at the Chief Minister’s residence on Monday night, where he had been called for an emergency meeting.
Police later arrested Khan and Jarwal and they were sent to judicial custody till Thursday.
According to the Chief Secretary, the Chief Minister’s adviser had called him over the phone and asked him to come to the Chief Minister’s residence for the meeting and Jain was also present there.
On Thursday, the Delhi Police submitted Jain’s statement at a city court, which said that Jain had gone to the washroom during the meeting and as he came out he saw the two AAP MLAs “physically assaulting” the Chief Secretary.
The statement was recorded under Section 161 of the CrPC, which means that it was recorded in front of the police and not a magistrate.
Sources told IANS that Jain later recorded his statement in front of a magistrate under section 164 of the CrPC.
“The statement under section 164 was later recorded with the magistrate in front a camera, without the presence of police. In that statement also he (Jain) has said that he saw the two MLAs physically assaulting the Chief Secretary,” a police officer privy to the case told IANS.
The officer said that the statement under section 164 has also been submitted to the court.
Jain was first questioned on Wednesday morning and then again on Thursday and his statement was recorded on Thursday.
The change in Jain’s statement that the AAP was referring to was from a “question and answer” with Jain recorded by police after questioning him on Wednesday.
According to a copy of Wednesday’s “question and answer” recorded by police, when asked whether Jain saw the Chief Secretary being manhandled, he replied that he had gone to the washroom in between the meeting and he could not say what happened during that time.
“By putting pressure on him (Jain) throughout the day (Thursday) and by threatening him, police has forced him to change his statement,” AAP MP Sanjay Singh told the media here on Thursday.
“How is it that the same Jain who emphatically said yesterday that he witnessed no assault during the entire time that he was present there has now claimed otherwise?” he asked.
Singh said that AAP MLAs were being arrested over an alleged assault of which there was no proof.
“But on the other hand, despite there being video footage of officials assaulting Delhi Cabinet Minister Imran Hussain, there is no action taken against the guilty by the Delhi Police,” the AAP MP said.
The court on Thursday sent the two AAP MLAs, arrested on charges of assaulting the Chief Secretary, to judicial custody for 14 days.
Orders on the bail pleas of the two AAP MLAs and also on their police custody will be pronounced on Friday.
Meanwhile, scores of Delhi government employees across the city observed a five-minute silence outside their respective offices as a protest against the alleged assault on the Chief Secretary.
The IAS Association said that officers would continue the protest every day, till steps are taken to “ensure safety and dignity” of government staff in the city.
The AAP also hit out at Lt Governor Anil Baijal by stating that he was “working as a BJP agent” and demanded action against those involved in “manhandling and beating up” Hussain and his aide at the Delhi Secretariat on Tuesday. (IANS)