SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : The Government of the BJP has decided to purchase thousands of these guns within the next two years. They have cancelled their own agreement `not to deal with Bofors' and all because this gun made such a brilliant showing of itself in the Kargil War.
MR. CHAIRMAN : I think, you will have to conclude now.
SHRI MANI SHANKAR AIYAR : Sir, Shri Patwa walks in late. He does not listen to my speech. If he was here... (Interruptions)
I am short of time, but I am not short of arguments. I have a lot more to say. I regret that I do not have the time to say. But I think, I have said enough to establish that Rajiv Gandhi's name has been deliberately dragged in to this chargesheet, put in Column 2, in order that he might be defamed but not able to defend himself. That the advice to not do so came from within the investigative agency concerned; that they are playing ducks and drakes with this issue. The worst of it is that in consequence of doing so they are setting the ground for the Swiss to not release the documents relating to the Hindujas. If the documents relating to the Hindujas do not come into this country, there will not be a chargesheet filed against their closest friend and in the process they will name us. This is what I call politically motivated. This is a vendetta. I make my last plea.
We are still at the beginning of the Thirteenth Lok Sabha. We have still got time to go. We are still willing to restore the atmosphere of amity in which we wish to conduct the post-election scenario. Even now there is time. Under Section 321 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the charges have not yet been frame in the court.
So, if you withdraw his name just now, there is no problem whatsoever. There would not even be a problem later on. There is absolutely no problem. You have directed the inclusion of Shri Rajiv Gandhi in column 2. It is in your hands. It is entirely within the law. It is in keeping with the Supreme Court judgement that you can direct the Public Prosecutor even now to go to the court and withdraw his name before the charges are framed. If you do so, you would have earned the undying gratitude of the crores upon crores upon crores of people who have voted for the Congress in this last general election. Do you want our support; do you want our cooperation; do you want us to work together or do you want to continue being a *
The choice is yours. We are awaiting your answer.
Mr. Home Minister, we want to know from you in the course of this debate whether you are going to agree to our demand for deletion. If it is not possible for you to come to a decision in this regard within the few hours that remain before you will be getting up to reply to this debate, we are completely prepared to wait until you have done the examination of this; come back to us at the beginning of the next Session or in the inter-session period tell us that you have deleted his name. But please do not expect us to be well disposed towards you when using the name of a man who was dear to every one of us--even if he was not dear to you--a martyr to this country, a man who was killed by Dhanu (the same Dhanu to whom he is talking about) that we can continue to express goodwill towards you while you defame a friend of my mine, a personal friend of mine, a leader of this House, a Prime Minister of this country and a Bharat Ratna. Please do not do it. It serves no good. I do not think that it brings any glory to your name.
Thank you very much, Sir.
* Expunged as ordered by the Chair.
SHRI INDRAJIT GUPTA (MIDNAPORE): Mr. Chairman, Sir, I join with other Members in extending my thanks to the hon. Rashtrapati for the pains he took to deliver his Address to both the Houses of Parliament assembled together. At the same time I cannot but express certain apprehensions which arise out of that Address and which I am very conscious about and which I would like to mention here briefly.
My first apprehension is on the ground, which perhaps is shared by the former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, who is not here at the moment. He has made a reference in his speech and it is about unhindered and galloping rate of population in our country and the fact, strangely enough, the Rashtrapati's Address contains no reference to it. ... (Interruptions)
SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE (BOLPUR): There was one passing reference ... (Interruptions)
SHRI INDRAJIT GUPTA : There was a cursory reference to a matter which in my opinion, I may be wrong but in my opinion it is a matter which has come to a stage where it deserves the highest priority of consideration now. ... (Interruptions)
MR. CHAIRMAN : Shri Advani, please address the Chair, if he yields.
Shri Indrajit Gupta, he would like to clarify something if you are prepared to yield.
SHRI INDRAJIT GUPTA : Let him clarify.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (SHRI L.K. ADVANI): I would like to draw the attention of the hon. Member to paragraph 15, which says:
"That a National Health Policy will soon be presented, whose twin aims will be the provision of adequate primary health services to all citizens and stabilisation of population."
Then, there is a paragraph separately on population also. These are the two main objectives of the National Health Policy that this Government conceives.
SHRI INDRAJIT GUPTA : I think, Sir, that apart from a National Health Policy, which I would welcome of course, there are are so many other factors on which the whole question of population control depends.
My point is that I would have expected Rashtrapati to give the highest priority to this problem which has now reached a dimension where everybody whether in the Government or in the Opposition should be distressed and worried about as to the future of our country. Development in our country and how we are going to cater to the needs of these millions of people whose numbers are growing all the time, is a question which I think baffles everybody at the moment. We are sometimes getting rounded by saying that we do not want to go deep into this problem because of the emotions or the kind of sentiments which are aroused by it. Sir, I humbly say that this is no way of dealing with this problem now . Otherwise, in a few years from now, our country will be facing an insoluble crisis because of this growth of population. I would therefore like the Government, if it has any further idea on the subject, apart from talking of stabilisation of population, to take the House into confidence and tell us something more about how they propose in this national health programme which they are considering to deal with this problem which has really reached Gargantuan proportion.
The second apprehension I have got, Sir, is regarding the role of the Government in the Kargil war. How our jawans, our officers and our armed forces gave their lives, shed their blood in order to defend our soil and how they have written a glory of fate in human heroism, is all known to everybody. So, everybody naturally has paid tributes to them. There is no question about it. This is something of which everybody in this country is proud of. But I must raise one point and that is, how are these young men of our armed forces exposed to this danger to their lives and their safety. When the Government took a stand that they had not been aware, they had no knowledge, they were not conscious of the fact that there had been a large scale incursion into our territory by armed people from Pakistan who included not only the regular Pakistani Army but also the so-called Mujahideens who were mercenaries recruited from different countries and who were put up in front of the regular Pakistani Army in order to show that they were fighting some kind of liberation war, there were two options, if I may say so, before the Government. If the Government is speaking the truth when it says it had no knowledge, at least, for several days there had no knowledge of the fact that there had been this incursion by several thousand people across our border in the Kargil area; if that is one option that really they had no knowledge, no information, if that is a fact, then it can be established.
Then, of course, our Intelligence Agencies, of whom we have got many, not only one but we have many, will be held to be culpable. We have RAW; we have got the Military Intelligence; we have got the IB; and we have got so many Intelligence agencies. They will be held to account if it is a fact that for several days, the Government really had no information, no knowledge of the fact that this incursion had taken place where those people were supposed to have entered up to a distance of about 12 to 15 kilometers inside the Line of Control, on our side of the border and no information was available to the Government.
Then, what were our intelligent agencies doing? Naturally, every citizen in this country has got this question in mind. Subsequently, so many newspapers, so many magazines and so many other documents have raised this question because everybody wanted to know what was the truth. On the other hand--that is the other option--if it is established that they did not know , it is not as if they did not know, at least they had been forewarned that such an incursion by Pakistan was going to take place and, therefore, it was all the more necessary to be more vigilant and to guard our border in the Kargil area in such a way that it is not possible to be taken by surprise. If such indication or information was forthcoming from those intelligent agencies, then what was the Government doing? In these options either the intelligent agencies have failed, which gives the credit to the Government, the balance of the credit goes to the Government that they did not know, they were kept in the dark and on the other hand if it is established that many of these intelligence agencies had sent warnings to the Government and those warnings had been ignored, then what is the character of the Government and what is the nature of the Government's role in this whole affair?
14.31 hrs (Mr. Speaker in the Chair)
Now, I do not know whether it is a fact that because of Shri Vajpayee's famous bus ride to Lahore and the fact which some people are saying that he was, perhaps, taken in by the Pakistani Prime Minister's professions of friendship that that had the effect of lulling our vigilance and the Prime Minister and his other Members of the Government naturally could not imagine that within a few days such an incursion could take place which obviously could or must have been prepared long before. An incursion of this type in which heavy arms were brought into the country, in which bunkers were occupied, in which strategic heights were occupied by these Pakistanis could not have been done overnight. It was obviously something which was being prepared for a long time and obviously if you check up, you will find that while these talks were going on between Vajpayeeji and the Pakistani Prime Minister at the end of this bus ride, then that was the time when these preparations must have been going on.
Anyway, what I am trying to say is that we are very much worried and disturbed over this because such a thing can happen again. Who in this House is prepared to give us the guarantee that such a thing cannot take place again where the Government will plead the ignorance that they were in the dark, that they did not know what was happening and intelligence agencies had failed them? That is the meaning of it or conversely the intelligence agencies or whatever information they have been able to gather, they had sent warnings to the Government, but those warnings had been ignored, neglected, minimised or not given any importance. Which one of these options would you prefer? I would like to know because during the operations in Kargil, no possible opportunity was given to anybody for any kind of discussion on this particular question. How did the incursion take place? Did the Government know about it?
When they came to know about it what was their reaction? During the Kargil operations, we were told, that this was not the proper time to raise these questions. They can all be gone into later on. I know that a body has been set up later on to review the Kargil operations, but it is not what we were asking for.
We wanted an inquiry, a proper full-dressed probe to be held into the question of who is to be blamed for what happened. It is only after the Pakistani shelling began, aimed at disrupting the Srinagar-Leh road which was down below, which was obviously their main target which they started shelling from above, that the Government seems to have woken up and were taken by surprise and asked this question as to how this was happening, where had this come from and why did we not know about it earlier. That is why I am asking whether there is a guarantee that such a thing will not happen again. Hundreds of young men have died. Naturally, as Servicemen, they carried out the orders of their superior officers bravely, resolutely and without a single thought for their own safety, fighting in such a difficult terrain where they had to climb up those cliffs which normally would constitute a feat of mountaineering. They came out on those heights and took on these invaders, in some circumstances, from the accounts that have subsequently appeared, facing certain death. Many of those young men have died. Of course, we have now decorated many of them with Paramvir Chakras and Mahavir Chakras. You read the citations. They have all been published now. Please read the citations of how each one of them lost his life, what were the conditions, what were the circumstances in which they attacked the Pakistani posts, sometimes somebody single-handedly attacking a Pakistani post which was occupied by several of the enemy soldiers and who had a clear vision of fire against our men. I visited some Army hospitals to see the condition of some of the wounded who are recovering there. Somebody has lost his hand, somebody has lost his leg or foot, somebody has lost his eyesight. They are young men, aged 22, 23, 24 years. When they talked to us, not one of them complained, not one of them accused anybody of having been negligent. They were cheerful, they were full of confidence, in spite of the fact that they must have been thinking as to how they were going to spend the rest of their life in that kind of condition. These are the salt of the earth. Of course, the nation has contributed so generously and liberally, but that is all in terms of money. Everything in life cannot be compensated for by money. What I am saying is that it is either the negligence of our intelligence agencies or the negligence of the Government which had been forewarned that preparations were going on across the Line of Control. I do not have to mention all those now; I think the Government knows. There was the Commander of the Brigade which was holding the Kargil Front, Brigade No.121, Brigadier Surinder Singh. His statement has appeared extensively in all papers subsequently in which he has described how they had sent messages, not once but several times. One letter he had sent which was 56 pages long.
Of course, he has sent it according to the correct procedure to the Chief of Army Staff. As a serving officer, he could not address the Government directly. He sent his reports to the Chief of Army Staff which clearly said that :
"Something is going on; we are seeing it with our own eyes; preparations are going on; arms are being collected; people are being brought from various places and they are inspecting the Line of Control to find out which are the weak spots from where infiltration would be possible and, therefore, now it is high time that the special measures were taken to see that we are not caught by surprise".
But nothing happened. Yesterday or the day before yesterday, I think the Army has celebrated what they call their Infantry Day. Infantry Day is celebrated every year as the Infantry is the backbone of our Armed Forces. The Director General of the Infantry in India is Lt. Gen. Shankar Prasad and he made some statement. Please read it. I am not going to quote it. In that he has admitted that there has been an intelligence failure and in his view, of course, he has blamed the R&AW - Research and Analysis Wing - which, he says, is primarily responsible for collecting information and intelligence about what is happening across the border. That is his view. I also have evidence. I think these are all not items of evidence which can be lightly brushed aside.
The Director of the Intelligence Bureau has also come out with a statement in which he has said :
"We had warned them beforehand that preparations are going on for some sort of mischief; these people are up to no good and they are planning for an attack and we should, at least, take measures in time".
What has happened to all that? Now, no enquiry as such or a probe is taking place. There is some Review Committee. I do not know what it is actually supposed to do.
My point is that these young men who have given their lives for us, for the country have done supreme sacrifice. Mind you, all the fighting has taken place on our side of the Line of Control. It is a strange thing. All the hostilities, all the fighting, all the casualties - everything - has taken place on our side and nothing took place on the other side. The whole thing has been conducted on the Indian side of the border. It shows how the aggression had been planned and how unprepared we were. I know the Government finally took a decision, when the question arose whether we should cross the Line of Control or not and go across to the other side, which, of course, would have had many implications, some of them are of a very serious nature. They decided - and in my opinion quite rightly - that our forces should not cross the Line of Control but should be satisfied with repelling these people and forcing them out.