Today's Paper

‘Modi’s surprise visit to Pak not a good precedent’

The former Union Minister and Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha M. Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not set a good precedent by his surprise meeting with his counterpart in Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, without prior preparation of an agenda or having a clear idea of the bilateral matters to be taken up for discussion.

Talking to presspersons here on Sunday, Mr. Kharge said that that there was no need for handing out a surprise to the country on the Indian Prime Minister visiting Pakistan after 11 years as foreign policy cannot be dealt in such a casual manner without consulting anybody, including his own Ministerial colleagues.

Mr. Kharge said that even after two days of Mr. Modi’s visit to Pakistan and his meeting with Mr. Nawaz Sharif, the people have been kept in the dark about what transpired between Mr. Modi and Mr. Sharif. Stating that this cannot be “Chai pe foreign policy ki charcha”, he said that it was unfortunate that Mr. Modi has not come out with any statement on his visit to Pakistan and has continued his practice of keeping everybody in the dark about his foreign tours in the past.

While reiterating the stand of the Congress that the country should have good neighbourly relations with all countries, including Pakistan, he said that the way Mr. Modi handled the issue would not add respect to the country. The methods used by the Prime Minister to ensure this were wrong, he said and added that “You cannot shape foreign policy of a country by such irrational methods.”

He said that during the 19 months in office, Mr. Modi has made 32 foreign trips hip-hopping from one country to another without any major achievement. Investment from the countries which Mr. Modi has visited has not been up to the expected level, he said.

Referring to the decision of the NDA government on the bullet train from Ahmedabad to Mumbai, he said that the country’s majority would not benefit in any way by the Rs. 1 lakh-crore 500-km project.

Kharge said that the PM had made 32 foreign trips in 19 months without any major achievement