By raising Balochistan, PM is ruining India’s PoK claim: Congress

Updated - September 20, 2016 02:28 pm IST

Published - August 15, 2016 01:29 pm IST - New Delhi

The Congress on Monday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of “ruining” India’s case on Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) by raking up the issue of Balochistan in his Independence Day address.

“PoK is our right. Our entitlement. We will support it. But by bringing in Balochistan, you are ruining our case... We are going to ruin our own case on PoK,” Congress leader and former External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said.

This would give an “additional handle” to Pakistan to target India as “we don’t speak about atrocities in neighbouring countries”, he told reporters at the Congress headquarters here.

Disapproving the “wild pronouncements about Balochistan”, he said the government should ensure that its borders are secured and people are safe. “I do not know who advised the Prime Minister for raising Balochistan... It will dilute our claim on PoK. It will give additional handle... to interfere in our internal affairs.”

Suggesting that Mr. Modi should learn from former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on foreign policy, Mr. Khurshid said, “Balochistan is a different kettle altogether. We have no business (there).”

Mr. Khurshid said the address of Mr. Modi was not like a Prime Minister addressing the nation on a national day but as a politician during an election campaign. In his address from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of 70th Independence Day, Mr. Modi talked about the situation in PoK, Gilgit and Balochistan and said people from there have thanked him for raising their issues.

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