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BJP seizes on Krishna's Taliban 'remarks'

BJP seizes on Krishna's Taliban 'remarks'

Author: Times News Network
Publication: The Times of India
Date: September 25, 2009

Dubbing foreign minister S M Krishna's alleged statement on the Taliban "irresponsible and disturbing'', BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "He must explain what he means by dialogue and settlement with the Taliban. A number of groups having linkages with the Taliban and other anti-India groups continue with their terrorist designs against our country with impunity.'' Prasad added that India had always maintained that there could be no "reconciliation'' with the Taliban and there was no "good'' Taliban or "bad'' Taliban.

Former diplomat G Parthasarathy said, "If the foreign minister meant that the eventual solution in Afghanistan should take into account the legitimate interests of its neighbours, that is perfectly reasonable. But if he means that there should be a political settlement with the Taliban, then it's a significant change in policy that the government would have to explain.''

The interview quoted Krishna as saying, "If there are internal differences within Afghanistan, I think the people of Afghanistan, the leaders of Afghanistan will sort them out by themselves.'' He also downplayed allegations of electoral fraud in the recent elections, saying Afghanistan had given democracy a try and succeeded, pointing to the 2000 poll confusion in Florida, which eventually elected George Bush to the White House. India later signed a nuclear deal with Bush. According to the foreign ministry official, Delhi's policy was to "strengthen the government of Afghanistan in achieving its social and developmental objectives by rebuilding infrastructure, providing employment, health, education, etc''.

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