BJP favours engagement with Pakistan to root out terrorism


India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has adopted a new foreign policy formula, which calls for peaceful and cooperative relations with Pakistan in fighting terrorism, Indian media reported on Sunday.

They said the BJP adopted a resolution during its national executive meeting on Friday in the southern city of Bangalore, presenting a five-point formula of its foreign policy.

The policy pitched for peaceful engagement with Pakistan to gain the neighbour’s cooperation to root out terrorism in the region, said the media reports.

It also praised the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “firmly and appropriately responding to the provocations on the border” allegedly by Pakistani troops.

“The BJP is committed to building peaceful and friendly relations with Pakistan, predicated on an end to terrorism,” it said.

Stressing that “terrorism and talks cannot go together”, the BJP resolution said India’s engagement with Pakistan would be based on strategic interests and enunciated Modi government’s foreign policy pillars or “Panchamrit” of dignity, dialogue, security, shared prosperity and culture.

In the first separate resolution on foreign policy brought up in its National Executive, BJP attacked the previous Congress-led government, saying “A cursory glance at the ‘lost decade’ of the UPA, reveals retreat and a loss of direction in engaging with neighbours, ham-handed diplomacy vis-à-vis Pakistan and a blind-spot in our foreign policy to the Indian Ocean island states.”

It also lauded the Modi government’s initiatives taken on foreign policy, including the prime minister and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s continuous engagements with world leaders in the last 10 months.

On Pakistan, the resolution said, “We have laid out a clear policy for building peaceful and friendly relations with Pakistan, predicated on an end to terrorism.

“There can be no compromise with terrorism. There can’t be any duplicity towards a problem that has become a regional crisis and is fast becoming an international nightmare.”

“All outstanding issues with Pakistan can be resolved through bilateral dialogue in an atmosphere free from terror and violence,” it said.

It said the national ambition is “Bharat’s rise as a strong and respected world power” for which the government had adopted “Panchamrit”.

It spelt out “Panchamrit” or 5Ss of the country’s foreign policy as “Samman” (dignity and honour), “Samvad” (greater engagement and dialogue), “Samriddhi” (shared prosperity), “Suraksha” (regional and global security) and “Sanskriti evam Sabhyata” (cultural and civilisational linkages), the party said.