Government has No Roadmap on Engagement With Pakistan: Congress

Congress accused the government of having no roadmap on engagement with Pakistan, said it was making abrupt policy statements.

Published: 19th August 2015 06:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th August 2015 06:29 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Congress today accused the government of having "no roadmap" on engagement with Pakistan and said it was making "abrupt policy statements".

The party also sought to brush aside Pakistan High Commissioner's invitation to Hurriyat leaders for consultations around the time of the NSA-level talks in Delhi this weekend, saying the people of the state have rejected the separatists.

"There is no roadmap. There is no vision on engagement with Pakistan.There are complex issues and challenges. There are abrupt policy statements (on dealing with Pakistan). (Talks) On today. Off tomorrow," Congress leader Anand Sharma told a press conference.

He was reacting to a question about the proposed talks that have come under criticism from even former External Affairs Minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha.

On the Pakistan High Commissioner's invitation to Kashmiri separatists, Sharma said, "What are the talks about. They (separatists) are one of the actors in the state. Let's not give them undue importance. They are not respecting unity and integrity of the country and Constitution of India. There is an elected government in J&K.

"People have spoken more than once (through elections). Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and this issue is non-negotiable," he said.

Sharma insisted that only Prime Minister Narendra Modi could say what assurances he had got from his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at Ufa which prompted him to have NSA-level talks.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, "Pakistan is so belligerent that they are questioning the integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India and now just before NSA-level talks they are inviting the separatists who do not have faith in Indian Constitution."

"Is this the Kashmir policy vis-a-vis Pakistan that the Modi government has? What is Modi government's policy on tackling terror?" Surjewala asked.

Noting that diplomacy and statecraft are "not event management programme and photo opportunities", Sharma said that there has been escalation of attacks along the LoC and breach of Indian borders after the Ufa talks.

Asked whether there should be talks, he said that the two countries need to have constructive dialogue which will be conducive to peace and shared prosperity.

At the same time, he sought categorical assurance from Pakistan of dismantling the syndicate of terrorist organisations on its soil and that it would bring to justice the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes.

The Kashmiri separatist leaders have been invited by the Pakistan High Commission here to meet Aziz, who will visit India to hold talks with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on August 23.

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