Take opposition into confidence on Pakistan: Congress to Centre

New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) A day after the National Security Advisors (NSAs) of India and Pakistan met in Thailand, the Congress on Monday sought to know what made the government effect a “fundamental departure” from the position conveyed to parliament with regard to New Delhi’s engagement with Islamabad.

Congress member Anand Sharma said in the Rajya Sabha that the government should take parliament into confidence and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should share “what understanding was reached between him and (Pakistan) Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif”.

He was referring to the meeting between Modi and Sharif on the sidelines of the climate conference in Paris.

“The prime minister and the government should inform the house about the developments and reasons which have made the government make a fundamental departure from the position as was conveyed to this house in the last session with regard to India’s engagement with Pakistan,” Sharma said during Zero Hour.

“We expected that the prime minister will take the opposition into confidence,” he added.

“Yesterday NSAs met, they were accompanied by foreign secretaries. That is why I use the term fundamental departure… The government said the 26 July Ufa statement from Indian perspective meant that an understanding was reached only to discuss the issue of terrorism which was contested by Pakistan and the NSA-level talks were called off.”

“The very fact that foreign secretaries accompanied (the NSAs) means the agenda and scope has been expanded,” the Congress leader said.

He also referred to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Pakistan on Tuesday. “This is disrespect of parliament as parliament is not taken into confidence.”

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi then said a statement would be made by the foreign minister on December 10. “Our commitment to national interest is very strong. The minister will make a statement on (December) 10th and give all information.”

Sushma Swaraj is travelling to Islamabad for a conference on Afghanistan.

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