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Friday, May 1, 2009

The reasons why Advani should not be Prime Minister

In India as electoral process is under way and the rightist groups led by BJP have been trying their best to capture power once again. Given the volatility of Indian electorate the right wingers might succeed in that and install their designate Prime Ministerial candidate into the chair. In a democracy, it should not pose any problem and it would constitute no big deal. However, a careful consideration of the record of previous NDA regime in which Advani was interior minister raises serious questions about his suitability to occupy the position of a Prime Minister. Advani through his own admission in his memoirs has confessed that he was not privy to the decision of handing over terrorists lodged in Indian jails to meet demands of hijackers of an Indian plane. That should speak volumes about his efficiency and also of the then government. It would be irresponsible to over look the consequences of that infamous decision of the NDA government because BJP brands itself as a party that is committed to fight terrorism. Two of the terrorists released in 1999 and escorted shamefully to Kandhar by the then external affairs minister Jaswant Singh were Azhar Masood and Omar Saeed Sheikh. Subsequent to their release, the name of Azhar Masood appeared in so many terrorist operations and many of which were directed again India. And Saeed Omar Sheikh infamously organized the kidnapping and subsequently brutal murder of The Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl. The civilized governments all over the world adhere to the principle of no-negotiation with terrorists under any threat, notwithstanding the seriousness of consequences. But one has just to recall how pitifully NDA government of the day crumbled under pressure and meekly surrendered. For all subsequent acts of terrorism by the released individuals, the part of blame, if not entirely, should belong to officials of that regime, which includes Advani. Advani was Deputy Prime Minister in that government and therefore should be answerable to some awkward questions that arose from the handling of that hijacking episode. How was the plane let to be flown from Amritsar? And who else was could be held responsible for that lapse other than the minister for internal security of the day, which was none other than Lal Krishan Advani. When and why was the decision to enter into negotiations with hijackers and surrender made? Why was the international standard of not any negotiations with terrorists shunned? And what was Advani as a member of the then cabinet doing if he was not aware of the decisions made as he has claimed in his book. It not only reeks of inefficiency but his earlier statements immediately after nuclear blasts by India also smack of immaturity. The age is no guarantee of wisdom and maturity and it is clear Advani is not up to the prime ministerial task that too in a period of complex international situations that require perseverance and maturity and not the outrageous view like scrapping of article 370.

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