Govt following 'opaque and incoherent' foreign policy: Congress

New Delhi, Aug 18: Congress on Monday came down heavily on the Centre, accusing it of following an "opaque and incoherent" foreign policy vis-a-vis Pakistan and sending "confused signals" to the countrymen.

The sharp reaction by party spokesperson Anand Sharma came minutes after India called off Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan next week and conveyed a blunt message that it was interfering in India's internal affairs by holding talks with Kashmiri separatists which was "unacceptable".

Sharma, however, dismissed it as a "theatrics" and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to explain as to why the talks were initiated in the first place when there was "no progress" from Pakistan side on acting against terror. "The question is not about calling off the talks. The question to be asked is why the talks were agreed to in the first place.

"What prompted the Narendra Modi government to decide to hold the Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan when there was constant provocation from that side through constant ceasefire violations, giving clean chit to Hafiz Saeed, key accused in Mumbai terror strikes and so on?" Sharma asked.

Slamming the NDA government's policy towards Pakistan, he said, "This government has followed a policy, which is opaque and incoherent in engaging with Pakistan. From day one, they have been sending confused signals to the countrymen."

He said the government has neither told people nor Parliament about what transpired in the one-to-one talks between Prime Minister Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

Sharma said that composite dialogue between the two countries were suspended after the Mumbai terror strikes and the Prime Minister should answer what was the change in the situation from then that the decision to resume talks was taken.

He also accused the government of "virtually exonerating" the 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed by "sending journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik to meet him". "It was a botched up Track-2 operation," he said, adding the government later "washed its hands off" the issue. 


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