Apt juncture to assess foreign policy: Karat

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Prakash Karat
Prakash Karat

Special Correspondent

Recalls Left parties' note to Government on serious distortions

  • Pranab, Antony well acquainted with earlier role of Congress
  • Says Indo-U.S. nuclear deal will not go ahead easily

    NEW DELHI: With the country having new Ministers of External Affairs and Defence, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) hopes that the United Progressive Alliance Government would reappraise foreign and security policies so that a "proper direction" can be given in these spheres during the remaining term of this Government.

    Commenting on the appointment of these two Ministers coinciding with the two-and-a-half year rule of the UPA Government, CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat said it was an appropriate juncture to assess the foreign policy.

    He recalled that in its note to the UPA Government, on completion of its two-year term, the Left parties noted that the "Government's foreign policy faces serious distortions because of the obsessive drive to somehow harmonise positions on regional and global issues with the U.S.'s global strategies. This runs counter to the commitments made in the Common Minimum Programme to promote multi-polarity in international relations."

    "Proper direction"

    "Pranab Mukherjee is the member with the most political experience in the Union Cabinet. The new entrant to the Cabinet is A.K. Antony who has taken over the Defence portfolio. Both are well acquainted with the earlier role of the Congress party, particularly during the time of Indira Gandhi, in formulating a foreign policy based on non-alignment and the safeguarding of India's vital interests. Assuming their new responsibilities, it would be expected that the UPA government will reappraise the foreign and security policies so that a proper direction can be given in these spheres during the UPA government's remaining term in office," Mr. Karat said in the latest issue of party organ `People's Democracy.'

    The past two-and-a-half years had only confirmed the negative consequences of harmonising the country's stand in tune with the U.S. global strategy. He said the U.S. was experiencing today some of the backlash due to the "arrogant, unilateralist drive" of the Bush administration to extend and consolidate the U.S. hegemony. "The U.S. is trapped in a bloody quagmire of its own making in Iraq. The bloodletting goes on daily without respite... Iraq is proving to be the U.S.'s `Vietnam' of the 21st century."

    Criticising the pro-US-Israel-India axis pursued by Vajpayee Government, he said the UPA Government was short-sighted to have sought the help of pro-Israel neo-conservative and Jewish lobbies in the U.S. to canvass support in the U.S. Congress for the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal. "Such a stances encourages Washington and Tel Aviv to coordinate their India polices still further," he said. As such the Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement would not go ahead easily and it was extremely unlikely that the lame-duck session of the US Congress will see the passage of the Bill. Similarly, on energy security the US was trying to bind India to its side, he noted.

    Mr. Karat said despite all the U.S. talk of India being the largest democracy and an emergent world power, when it came to Shashi Tharoor's candidature for United Nation's Secretary General , the U.S. exercised its veto power.

    Yet, at the same time the recent period showed the potential for realising the genuine content in foreign policy as set out in the CMP. The visit of the Prime Minister to Brazil, the NAM Summit in Havana showed that India could play an important and constructive role in advancing the platform of defence of national sovereignty against hegemonic trends, strengthen multilateral relations and forge South-South ties. Another area of potential was trilateral cooperation between Russia, China and India.

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