I congratulate the hon. Prime Minister for initiating the Agra Peace Talks. The whole country and the Parliament should have had unanimity on such a sensitive issue but, this issue is being politicised.
I was greatly pained when an hon. Member from the Congress made an unsavoury remark against Vajpayeeji. The Congress party has no moral right to say that Vajpayeeji prove to be a novice in conducting the talks.
It is the same Vajpayeeji who was entrusted to shoulder the responsibility of pleading the case of India in Geneva Conference in his capacity as the Leader of the Opposition. At that time, he had brought honour to the country. I am quite astonished to hear from Shri Madhavraoji that Shri Vajpayeeji conducted the talks in a naïve manner.
The Congress has been responsible for compounding the Kashmir imbroglio since 1947. After the accession of Kashmir in India on 26th of October, 1947, it was a great blunder to refer the problem of Kashmir to UNO in January, 1948.
There were other similar problems like that of Hyderabad and Junagarh but these were solved indigenously. But whereas the Congress has been instrumental in internationalising the Kashmir issue, they are alleging that we have not been able to handle it in a proper manner.
Shri Atal Bihar Vajpayee visited Lahore in a bus in his quest for peace. Unfortunately, he was rewarded with Kargil intrusion. We learnt a lesson and in order to stop blood-shed on our borders, we decided to initiate peace talks. After these talks, the situation in Kashmir started returning to normal. Panchayat elections were held in Kashmir under the leadership of Dr. Farooq Abdullah after a gap of 30 years.
There is no jehad in Kashmir. There is instead a well orchestrated blood-bath of humanity there. Pakistan’s nefarious designs are bringing a bad name to Islam the world over. The Indian Muslims do totally reject the so called jehad perpetrated by Pakistan. Be it the times of war or peace, the country’s Muslim is always rallying behind Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his Government.
During the wars of 1965 and 1971, thousands of Indian Muslims were summoned to present themselves in police stations and the then Governments of Congress Party asked them to prove and certify their credentials as patriots. But during the Kargil war, there was no such thing. This aroused a feeling of self-confidence amongst the Indian Muslims.
During the peace talks, the whole population of 15 crore Muslims stood firmly behind the Government and the country. I would, especially, like to urge upon the Opposition to desist from politicising such an issue of national importance. A message should be sent to this floor to the whole country and the world over that the Parliament and all the parties stand unitedly and unanimously against Pakistan.