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Old January 22nd, 2009, 06:58 AM
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Respect for Chidambaram

Finally I have some respect for a Kangressi, that too Chidambaram. I always knew he's a great economist but this proves he is a sane man and this statement earns him some well deserved respect from me.

I recall clearly how families of Kandahar hijackees (allow your's truly to coin a new term) staged a dharna and barged into the then Prime Minister's (Vajpayee) residence. The families and all the opposition were working with Kangress and other opposition instead of working constructively with the Government.

Kandahar was easy to criticize, tough to decide: Chidambaram

Quote:
NEW DELHI: After the NDA government's decision to release terrorists in exchange for hostages in the Kandahar hijack 10 years ago came under attack
from several quarters, home minister P Chidambaram said he was "not sure" and that it was a "very difficult" decision.

"I do not know how I would have reacted if 150 families came to my door and pleaded that their loved ones in that aircraft must be saved. It is easy to criticize but if one is in that position, it is a very difficult decision," he said at an award function here on Wednesday night.

He was asked about some governments in the world having taken a pledge not to ever negotiate with terrorists and whether India should also embrace that principle or was it far too over simplistic.

"It is a wholesome principle but I agree that it is an over-simplification....I am not sure. I don't know whether it can be applied in all situations," Chidambaram said.

The decision of the Vajpayee government to release three terrorists including Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar in December 1999, came in for flak from various political parties including the Congress, more so because the then external affairs minister Jaswant Singh accompanied the terrorists to Kandahar.

Subsequently, Azhar's name has figured in the December 2001 Parliament attack and the attack outside the J&K Assembly in Srinagar in the same month.

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