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I hate you... like I love you? What exactly is BJP's stand on Pakistan

Salma Rahman | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 2:42 IST

During a visit which seems to be a spur-of-the-moment decision, Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his birthday.

However, what's more interesting than Modi's impromptu decision to wish the 'Birthday boy' is his party's floundering stand on Pakistan-related issues.

Here are five instances when the BJP flip-flopped on its stand on Pakistan.

1) The Parliament attack

Indian Home Minister L K Advani accused Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of a hand in the attack on the Indian Parliament on 13 December, 2001. He described the incident as the "most alarming act of terrorism in the history of two decades of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in India", accusing "the terrorists and their mentors" of trying "to wipe out the entire political leadership of India".

Atal and Sharif_File photo_jpg

File Photo

However, in 2003, it was another BJP veteran Atal Bihar Vajpyee, who, as the country's Prime Minister extended what he called a "hand of friendship" to Pakistan, including the launch of the Delhi-Lahore bus service in 1999.

2) Mumbai attacks

In the wake of the terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008, the BJP called for all travel between India and Pakistan to be suspended as well as the recall of the Indian High Commissioner from Pakistan. The BJP President, Rajnath Singh, called for a joint India-US military action against Pakistan too.

However, the Modi government is now being accused of assuming a soft-stand with Pakistan, on the follow up of the Mumbai attack.

The Congress objected to India agreeing to share additional evidence, including voice samples, in the 26/11 attacks' trial, saying "departure from the past position" would serve to justify Pakistan's stubborn stand on the matter.

3) PM warning to Pakistan before the 2014 elections

Just before the 2014 elections, PM Modi warned Pakistan to stop sponsoring terrorism in India. And then what was surprising was his invitation to Nawaz Sharif at his swearing-in ceremony. In fact, he was the first Indian PM to do so.

4) BJP tells Indians to go to Pakistan

During the beef ban controversy, a number of BJP leaders including Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, asked that "beef eating people to be send to Pakistan".

"Those who are dying without eating beef can go to Pakistan or Arab countries or any other part of [the] world where it is available," he added.

As an extension, Kailash Vijaybargiya, a senior BJP leader from Madhya Pradesh, called Shah Rukh Khan a deshdrohi and said that his "aatma is in Pakistan" (his soul is in Paksitan).

Vijaybargiya lashed out at Khan's recent remarks on the growing culture of intolerance in India.

However, this was the year when India resumed talks with Pakistan after sluggish peace dialogues between the two countries were stalled due to skirmishes along the LoC.

Photo: Screengrab/ geo tv

Photo: Screengrab/ Geo Tv

The BJP was accused of "rolling out a red carpet for Pakistan" after Sushma Swaraj's recent visit to the country as well.

Making a jibe at the visit, Congress MP Rajeev Satav said that the policy of the BJP government had "reduced the chest of PM Modi from 56 inches to 56 centimetres".

5) UPA had its Biryani diplomacy. And the NDA's policy is...?

Lashing out at the UPA government in 2013, Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, had accused the Centre of a weak stand on Pakistan. "Heads of our soldiers are cut but then their Prime Minister is fed chicken biryani," he had remarked, in an apparent reference to Pakistan.

Now, the Congress is preparing to strike back as there are reports of special delicacies being prepared for Modi for his short, debut visit to Pakistan.

File Photo

File Photo

First published: 25 December 2015, 5:50 IST