Shashi Tharoor, a leader of the opposition Congress party, questioned why the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) engaged in negotiations and signed a joint statement with former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf if he was an “anathema to all patriotic Indians.” Shashi Tharoor made his remarks when he was defending his use of the phrase “real force for peace” in response to criticism from the BJP for endorsing the killing of the former military dictator of Pakistan. “Question to BJP leaders frothing at the mouth: if Musharraf was anathema to all patriotic Indians, why did the BJP government negotiate a ceasefire with him in 2003 & sign the joint Vajpayee-Musharraf statement of 2004? Was he not seen as a credible peace partner then?” Tharoor said in his tweet.
Earlier, Shashi Tharoor had stated, “I was raised in an India where you are expected to speak kindly of people when they die.” “I was raised in an India where you are expected to speak kindly of people when they die. Musharraf was an implacable enemy and was responsible for Kargil but he did work for peace w/India, in his own interest, 2002-7. He was no friend but he saw strategic benefit in peace, as did we,” he mentioned.
On Sunday, Shashi Tharoor expressed his condolences for the passing of the former military dictator of Pakistan, noting that although he had once been an adamant enemy of India, between 2002 and 2007, he had transformed into a genuine advocate for peace. “Pervez Musharraf, Former Pakistani President, Dies of Rare Disease’: once an implacable foe of India, he became a real force for peace 2002-2007. I met him annually in those days at the UN and found him smart, engaging and clear in his strategic thinking. RIP,” he stated in a tweet.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party harshly criticised Shashi Tharoor’s post. Rajeev Chandrashekhar, a Union Minister, criticised Tharoor, claiming that his statement “perfectly characterises Cong” (Congress). Chandrashekhar criticised the party on Twitter for settling down with someone who “caused terror, a backstabbing conflict, and tortured our soldiers in violation of every International law.
“Nothing like a proper military thrashing for Fatcat Pak Dictator Generals to become a “force for peace” and develop “clear strategic thinking”. Notwithstanding many lives lost n Intl laws violated n harm caused all around, these Generals will have their admiring fans in India (sic),” Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar wrote in his tweet.
In another tweet, Chandrasekhar stated, “That a former Cong Foreign Min (a party that refused to celebrate Kargil Vijay Diwas till 2010) wud think that a Pak General who inflicted terror, a backstabbing conflict n tortured our Soldiers in violation of every Intl law, wud be a “force for peace” – best describes Cong.” After a protracted illness, Musharraf passed away on Sunday at a hospital in the UAE, according to Daily Pakistan. During the Kargil conflict between Pakistan and India, Musharraf oversaw the army of Pakistan.