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Friday, May 28, 1999 Published at 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK


World: South Asia

Indian opposition blames BJP 'inaction'

Residents flee as opposition says government didn't do enough

By Jyotsna Singh in Delhi

Opposition parties in India have attacked what they call lack of vigilance by the caretaker government to check such large-scale infiltration into Kashmir.

Kashmir Conflict
While all political parties in India have supported the ongoing efforts by the military in India to flush out infiltrators in Kashmir from the Kargil, Drass and Batalik sectors, opposition parties say India should have done more.

The Congress party complained that the caretaker government, headed by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP, has failed to take other parties into its confidence over such an important issue, and its inaction has allowed the situation to become so serious.

A party spokesman, K Natwar Singh, told reporters that his party had sought an appointment with President K R Narayanan to express their concern and anxiety over the Kargil situation.

Concern unites opposition

The Marxist Communist party also said it was concerned about what it called the government's lack of vigilance in detecting and checking the infiltration, which led to the entrenchment of militants more than three weeks ago.

The president of the rebel faction of the Congress, Sharad Pawar, who launched his Nationalist Congress party on Thursday, alleged that there was an intelligence failure.

The main Congress party demanded steps to find out who was responsible for the negligence which led to the infiltration.

Peace efforts with Pakistan derided

Several parties have also questioned the diplomatic efforts initiated by the BJP-led government to improve relations with Pakistan.

Mr Vajpayee's bus diplomacy came under much ridicule, with parties such as the Congress as well as the regional Samajvadi party describing it as an utter failure, which they say was amply reflected by the developments in Kashmir.

However, all parties reiterated that on the question of the country's security, all efforts should be made to protect the sovereignty of the country.

The Marxist Communist party said though it supported efforts to dislodge infiltrators from the Indian territory, it urged that nothing should be done to escalate the situation.



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