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Congress slams ‘unpredictable’ policy, hints at private deal

Youth Congress workers stage a protest in New Delhi on Friday against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Pakistan. — Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Pakistan visit on Friday came in for sharp criticism from the Congress, with senior party leader Anand Sharma labelling the government’s engagement with Pakistan “frivolous, unpredictable and full of abrupt U-turns”.

Asking what assurances Mr. Modi got on bringing back or punishing perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, especially Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, and on dismantling terror syndicates in Pakistan, Mr. Sharma alleged that the “unscheduled visit” was to promote not India’s national interest but “private business interests”.

“We are very clear that the Prime Minister is there to promote only private business interests and not India’s national interest, which should be supreme,” Mr. Sharma said. “Diplomacy is serious, it must have gravitas and predictability. It cannot be frivolous, otherwise it will implode on Shri Narendra Modi’s face.” He added that his party had definitive information that the meeting was “pre-arranged”.

The BJP rubbished the Congress’ charges and hailed Mr. Modi for bringing about a “paradigm-shift” in India’s relations with other nations. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj hailed Mr. Modi’s visit as “statesman-like”.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 6:03:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/congress-suspects-business-interest-behind-lahore-stopover/article8029435.ece

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