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Congress disagrees with Salman Khurshid on Modi’s remark on Balochistan

The Congress went into damage control mode on Monday after its senior leader Salman Khurshid slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for referring to Balochistan in his Independence Day speech.

Mr. Khurshid, a former External Affairs Minister, said the Prime Minister can speak about Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) but cannot speak about Balochistan in the same breath.

“Balochistan is a different thing from PoK. We have every right to speak about PoK because it is our matter. Balochistan is not,” Mr. Khurshid told the media.

By evening, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala brushed aside Mr. Khurshid’s statement, saying his views did not reflect the party’s standpoint on Balochistan.

“The Congress does not subscribe to the statement of Salman Khurshid. We believe there are serious human rights violations in Balochistan and PoK,” Mr. Surjewala said via an audio statement.

However, adding a caveat, Mr. Surjewala criticised Prime Minister Modi, saying except being blatantly rhetorical against the abuses inflicted by Pakistani army in Balochistan and PoK, the BJP government in the Centre was not taking any concrete step to address the issue. “It’s nice and easy to say things from Red Fort. The question is what steps he will take after the speech is made. That is what the country needs to know,” Mr. Surjewala said.

Mr. Khurshid unnerved the government as well as his own party with his statement in which he bluntly said Balochistan was an “internal matter” of Pakistan.

“When the question is about a sovereign nation, we should maintain a sense of restraint. Do we allow Americans to speak about atrocities in our country? Do we express concern over the atrocities in Africa and Europe?” asked Mr. Khurshid.


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Printable version | Nov 21, 2021 8:14:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Congress-disagrees-with-Salman-Khurshid-on-Modi%E2%80%99s-remark-on-Balochistan/article14571427.ece

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