New Delhi : A clear sense of unease was visible in the BJP on Wednesday on the issue of holding the NSA level talks between India and Pakistan in the midst of escalating tension at the borders. Party insiders are particularly miffed after news of the Pakistan invite to Hurriyat leaders at a reception being hosted in New Delhi in honour of Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz.

While senior BJP leaders expressed their unease in hushed tones, party veteran and former external affairs minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet Yashwant Sinha went on record to slam the dialogue process in harsh terms. Sinha declared that the talks at this stage would be nothing but a ‘dialogue of the deaf’ and slammed the government for deviating from the BJP’s stated position that terror and talks could not go together.

Sinha told media persons that “this has been a clearly stated policy of BJP that we will not countenance terror as terror and talks do not go together. Therefore, in the 10 years rule of UPA, we had criticised Manmohan Singh personally and the UPA govt for departing from BJP’s position”.

Sinha also referred to the audacious attacks at Udhampur and Gurdaspur and the rising incidents of ceasefire violations at the borders in the recent weeks to question the Narendra Modi government’s policy of going ahead with the talks.

A senior BJP leader confided that the situation had become particularly sensitive after the Pakistan High Commission’s invite to Hurriyat hit the headlines. He pointed out that since this situation was typically contradictory to the stated position of the party for years, it was not going to be easy for them to defend the same.

Smita Mishra

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