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Speak in one voice on international issues: Naidu to political parties

By Ians English

New Delhi, Aug 16: Political parties in India should unite and speak in one voice on "international issues", Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said on Tuesday.

"I appeal to all parties, do not make statements which hurt India. As far as international issues are concerned, India should speak in one voice," Naidu said.

Speak in one voice: Naidu to parties

"Unfortunately, the Congress is not speaking in one voice within the party also. There is a statement from Salman Khurshid, another by Kapil Sibal and subsequently another statement by Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala," he said.

Naidu said this while reacting to Congress leader and former External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid's statement on Monday wherein the latter criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for speaking on the Balochistan issue in his Independence Day address.

"I appeal to the main opposition party, please bear with the country. Try to understand the implications. We must all speak in one voice," Naidu said.

Making a veiled attack on Pakistan for aiding and abetting terrorism, Naidu said: "...our neighbour is funding terrorism. It can't go on like this."

Naidu said this while defending Modi's reference to Balochistan in his speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort.

"They are trying to give us lectures about Kashmir, that's why we have told them what is happening in Balochistan, PoK and Gilgit. Let them focus on human rights violation, massacres and atrocities there," he said.

Regarding India, Naidu said: "There is an elected government in Jammu and Kashmir, the central and state government are capable of handling challenges in the state."

National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said in a sarcastic remark that it was time for India to sort out the Balochistan problem since the central government was already doing "such a good job" in the state.

And while Congress leader Kapil Sibal was quoted in the media as describing the Balochistan reference as "unnecessary", party spokesman Randeep Surjewala dismissed Khurshid's remarks as "personal opinion" of a senior leader.


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