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Age Debate: Beyond gestures, photo-ops

| ASHHAR KHAN
Published : Sep 8, 2016, 2:45 am IST
Updated : Sep 8, 2016, 2:45 am IST

Should Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend the next Saarc Summit to be held in November in Islamabad It will be decided by the Prime Minister himself.

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 HARISH1.jpg

Should Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend the next Saarc Summit to be held in November in Islamabad It will be decided by the Prime Minister himself. Our PM has enough maturity and knowledge of international ties and he is capable of taking a decision without hurting the national interest and public sentiments.

There is enough time for the PM and the government to take a call on whether he will attend the summit.

The Prime Minister will inform everyone well in time whether he will be attending the Saarc Summit and therefore no one should indulge in speculation.

In the current scenario, India’s relationship with Pakistan is not good. Despite assurances and promises, Pakistan keeps supporting terror groups that are active in India. Mr Modi repeatedly used strong words and asked them to stop supporting these terror groups. Unfortunately, it fell on deaf ears and no concrete action has been taken by our neighbour.

Everyone knows former Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and Atal Behari Vajpayee attended the previous editions of Saarc in 1988 and 2004 respectively.

If the relationship between India and Pakistan improves, then Mr Modi will follow the previous Prime Ministers but the way Pakistan is acting it seems difficult to believe that ties will improve in the just two months left before the summit.

Before taking any final decision on whether to attend the meet or not, Mr Modi must consider several points related on the India-Pakistan relationship. First, the manner in which Pakistan is and has been involved in spreading terrorism in India, and the way Pakistan had backstabbed us on many occasions cannot be forgotten.

Despite Mr Modi’s personal initiative to improve the relationship by visiting Lahore to meet Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, the attitude of our neighbour remains unchanged. Our envoy in Pakistan had said that Mr Modi will attend the summit, but the government has clarified that the decision has not taken which means that Mr Modi will take the final call, considering all aspects.

Mr Modi must also consider the manner in which Pakistan behaved with Union home minister Rajnath Singh during his visit to Pakistan to attend 7th Saarc Interior home ministers’ conference in Islamabad. Mr Singh’s speech was blacked out by disallowing the Pakistan media from covering it.

I am sure Mr Modi will consider the sentiments of people before taking any call on attending the meet.

Mr Modi should not provide any fodder to opponents who are eager to politicise anything without caring whether it will be against the interests of the country.

I think Mr Modi will act in a balanced way. Being the Prime Minister of the biggest Saarc nation, he will act in the interests of the country. While the decision will be taken by the Prime Minister, even if we want to move in a positive direction, Pakistan will still try to move the other way.

Harish Khurana is the spokesperson of the Delhi BJP

$Let PM think and decide

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Beyond the shawl and mango diplomacy, the question is: what has changed Pakistan is still the biggest exporter of terror to India. There has been no change. When Narendra Modi was campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections, he used the phrase that we should stop writing love letters to Pakistan. What has happened now

These are the questions which the country needs to know. What has transpired between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif in the several rounds of meetings they have had The national security advisers of both the countries have met overtly and covertly. The Indian PM had invited his Pakistani counterpart to his swearing-in. Since then gifts and pleasantries have been exchanged, but what has India got The surprising part is that there is a shroud of secrecy surrounding the whole affair.

The Prime Minister descended unannounced at the birthday/wedding celebrations in Lahore without anybody knowing. In return we got Pathankot. What has Pakistan done till date to nab the culprits of that heinous attack A Pakistan inquiry commission was allowed to visit our airbase in Pathankot. It is shocking that it had officers of the ISI. So, in effect, we allowed ISI officers into our airbase. Once again, till date, the country is unaware of what the outcome has been. Is the martyrdom of our security personnel going waste

We were told that an Indian inquiry commission would also go to Pakistan to investigate. But nothing of that sort has happened. This is a faulty foreign policy that is being followed by the current government.

Let us now come to ceasefire violations by Pakistan. In 2015, more than 400 ceasefire violations took place. In 2016, till date, the number of ceasefire violations is more than 250. Is this the strong foreign policy that this government is pursuing Why haven’t these violations stopped The government and the Mr Modi have no answers for this.

Apart from rhetoric, this government has nothing to offer. The line of diplomacy pursued on Pakistan points towards a disjointed foreign policy with no focus or direction. We are all concerned about this.

A month back, home minister Rajnath Singh went to Pakistan to attend a meeting of Saarc home ministers. What did we achieve apart from a set of controversies First it was the case of telecast of the Indian home minister’s speech. Then the home minister had to cut short his visit by skipping lunch. Why did such a situation arise in the first place The Pakistani minister deviated from his written speech and spoke about Kashmir. This just puts a question mark on the nature of diplomacy, or lack of it, followed by this government.

Lastly, the fact remains that the country needs to know what the government is doing vis-a-vis Pakistan. We have raised specific issues to which we need answers. These have been raised inside as well as outside Parliament, but till date no answers have been given.

Randeep Singh Surjewala is in charge of the AICC communications department

$Everything looks superficial

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