• Wednesday, March 22, 2023


India’s ruling BJP, opposition MP Shasi Tharoor engage in war of words over Musharraf death condolence

Indian National Congress parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor (ANI Photo/Mohd Zakir)

By: Shubham Ghosh

Indian National Congress parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor, who served as a junior foreign minister in the government of former prime minister Manmohan Singh, on Sunday (5) hit back at criticism over his take on Pervez Musharraf, the former military dictator of Pakistan who passed away in Dubai the same day.

In a tweet, the MP from Kerala said he was raised in an India where one is expected to speak kindly of people when they die. Tharoor had referred to Musharraf, one of the key architects of the 1999 Kargil War with India, as an “implacable foe of India” who later became a “real force for peace”.

Pervez Musharraf and Atal Bihari Vajpayee
(FILES) In this picture taken on July 15, 2001, former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf is greeted by then Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee prior to summit talks at the Jaypee Palace Hotel in Agra, India. (Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)

“I was raised in an India where you are expected to speak kindly of people when they die. Musharraf was an implacable enemy &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 said in a tweet.


India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, a Hindu right-wing party, accused the opposition parliamentarian of eulogising the late Pakistani leader.

“‘Pervez Musharraf, Former Pakistani President, Dies of Rare Disease’: once an implacable foe of India, he became a real force for peace,” Tharoor said in another tweet condoling Musharraf’s demise.

BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla said in response to Tharoor’s tweet, “Pervez Musharraf architect of Kargil, dictator, accused of heinous crimes who considered Taliban and Osama as ‘brothers’ and ‘heroes’ who refused to even take back bodies of his own dead soldiers is being hailed by Congress! Are you surprised? Again, Congress ki pak parasti!”

On Monday (6), Tharoor, a former United Nations diplomat, slammed the BJP in another post on Twitter saying if Musharraf was anathema to all patriotic Indians, then why did the BJP government negotiate a ceasefire with him in 2003 and sign the joint Vajpayee-Musharraf statement of 2004.

“Was he not seen as a credible peace partner then?” the Congress leader asked.

The BJP was in leadership of a coalition government in New Delhi under prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee when New Delhi and Islamabad under Musharraf had taken peace initiatives in the early 2000s.

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