Congress trashes PM's foreign policy claims
June 28, 2016 | 9:56 PM
by PTI

New Delhi: Congress on Tuesday rubbished foreign policy claims made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an interview on Monday, insisting that India’s ties with China has worsened and infiltration and terror attacks from across the border has escalated.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad wondered how can the Modi government call its foreign policy successful when more the meetings the prime minister has with leaders of neighbouring countries like China, the “more they go against us”.

“As prime minister was trying to placate China, the Chinese forces were making incursions in our territory,” he said.

Azad, a former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, said terrorism had virtually ceased in the valley way back in 2008, but the situation has taken a turn for the worse in the last two years.

“There have been more ceasefire violations in the last two years than the last 60 years and we see terror attacks in Pathankot and Pampore,” he said, lamenting the rise in incidents of ambush of Indian security forces.

“We have gone back to the violence last seen in the 1990s,” he claimed.

Seeking to dismiss the Prime Minister’s claim that China had turned lukewarm towards India after his grand welcome in the US, he said Rajiv Gandhi as PM had managed to maintain good relations with America, Russia and China at the same time.

“For two years, the prime minister was active in travelling abroad, but what has been the result of these travels?”, he asked.

Azad said the Congress would have been happier if the prime minister had held a press conference as journalists could have asked him questions, Azad said referring to his interview to a TV channel. Opposition parties accused Modi of not having a comprehensive policy towards Pakistan, saying diplomacy requires seriousness, gravitas and not “theatrics”.

The government’s foreign policy lacks coherence, clarity and consistency, they said.

The remarks by Congress and Communist Party of India (Marxist), CPI(M) came a day after Modi said that India’s efforts for engagement with Pakistan is on with peace as the supreme objective but the forces have “full freedom to answer back” in whatever manner they have to.

“Nobody is against engaging with Pakistan but what we have questioned him (Modi) is about not taking the opposition into confidence,” Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said.

He said diplomacy does not require theatrics and needs seriousness, gravitas.

CPM leader Brinda Karat targeted the Centre, saying it does not have a comprehensive policy towards Pakistan. She said it is really a “show-based” policy rather than a serious diplomatic initiative to deal with a neighbour which undoubtedly has been encouraging terrorists groups against India.

“One day you say you are going to bomb Pakistan. The other day your Home Minister (Rajnath Singh) said you are not going to count the bullets that are going to be used against Pakistan,” Karat said, adding that the prime minister had gone to Pakistan to meet Nawaz Sharif on his birthday.

Congress leader P. L. Punia accused the government of having a “dual strategy” on the issue of RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan saying on the one hand it appreciated his work, but agreed with what Subramanian Swamy said and bid good bye to him.

“Today our economy is passing through such a time that requires stability. There was a need for (his) continuity,” he said.

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