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Pakistan ban on Masood a sham: BJP

By Shahid K Abbas in New Delhi
May 15, 2003 20:45 IST
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The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday described the ban imposed on Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar's entry into Pakistan occupied Kashmir as a sham undertaken to pull wool over the eyes of the international community on the issue of terrorism.

The BJP view differs from Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani who welcomed the ban on Masood, but qualified it with the hope that this was the first in a series of steps to be undertaken by Islamabad to combat terrorism directed at India.

"As long as the sponsoring of cross-border terrorism is not put to an end it cannot be accepted that Pakistan is serious in accepting the hand of friendship offered by India," BJP spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

He also reacted sharply to the visiting Pakistani parliamentary delegation's remarks equating the situation in Chechnya with that of Kashmir and their observation that terrorism cannot be rooted out from Chechnya or Kashmir immediately.

"To equate Chechnya with Kashmir on the same platter by the visiting Pakistani MPs was not only improper, absolutely misplaced and in bad taste, but also an insult to the feelings of the people of Jammu and Kashmir who are part and parcel of Indian democracy since inception," he said.

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Shahid K Abbas in New Delhi