Shahid K Abbas in New Delhi
Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani on Monday said the Jammu and Kashmir government had not consulted the central government before releasing several militants.
Replying to a short duration discussion in Lok Sabha on the attack on the Raghunath temple in Jammu on Sunday, Advani attributed it to Pakistan-sponsored cross-border violence.
"Yesterday's attack was just a battle in which we have been successful. And, we are determined to win the war as well," he said.
"To release any militant it [the state government] should take the consent of the Centre and for that the state government had not consulted me," he said. "The Union home secretary had written to the state government not to release these militants in a haste."
The Congress party had claimed that the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led and the Congress supported state government had consulted the Centre before releasing militants
Candidly admitting that it was the responsibility of the Centre to fight the menace of terrorism, Advani recalled Sayeed's meeting with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, immediately after his assuming office.
He said Vajpayee had assured Sayeed of full help in the struggle against cross-border terrorism.
He said that in the perception of the United States and the international community terrorism was nothing more than the Al Qaida or the Taliban. "They [US and the international community] do not seem to acknowledge the fact that Pakistan's ISI is a major sponsor of terrorism and was a part of Pakistan's establishment."
He also rejected an opposition member's contention that the government was buckling under US pressure and therefore shying from launching an attack on Pakistan.
"The central government does not take decisions under pressure," he said.
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