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Advani washes hands off 'Akhand Bharat'

By K G Suresh in Lahore
June 03, 2005 01:07 IST
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In a significant attempt to shed his Hindu hardliner image in Pakistan, visiting Bharatiya Janata Party president Lal Kishenchand Advani on Thursday disassociated his party from the Sangh Parivar's Akhand Bharat concept, saying the emergence of both countries as separate sovereign nations was 'an unalterable reality of history'.

"I am stating this only because I find there are still some misconceptions and false propaganda about what the BJP thinks of Pakistan," he said, addressing a reception hosted by the South Asian Free Media Association in Lahore.

The leader of opposition's assertion comes two days after his declaration in Islamabad that the demolition of the Babri Masjid was the 'saddest day' of his life and that his image and persona were not the same.

Advani, who arrived in Lahore on Thursday from Islamabad, said the propaganda about the BJP had no legs to stand on now since it was the BJP-led government that started the peace process in 1999 and steadfastly continued it throughout the six years they were in power.

"Even now when we are in the opposition, we have been supporting it equally vigorously," Advani said.

The Sangh Parivar has not yet reconciled itself to the Partition and continues to deal with both Pakistan and Bangladesh as part of Akhand Bharat, including them in its map and literature.

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K G Suresh in Lahore
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