Congress questions government silence on China’s Kashmir comment

Congress questions government silence on China’s Kashmir comment

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) Accusing the government of failure in foreign policy matters, the Congress on Friday questioned its silence on China’s comments on the Kashmir issue.

The opposition party said the communist country’s comment was “direct interference” in India’s internal matters but Prime Minister Narendra Modi or External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj were yet to utter a word.

“It is a direct interference in the internal matters of India by China. What is surprising is that the government did not take note of it,” senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal told the media at Parliament House complex here.

A media report said China had expressed concern over the casualties in clashes between protesters and security forces in Kashmir and hoped the situation in the Kashmir Valley will be “handled properly” and relevant parties will address the issue peacefully through dialogue.

“Neither the Prime Minister nor the External Affairs Minister expressed concern over the statement (by China),” he said.

The Congress leader said Modi should have made a public statement on the issue so that it was made known to China that it does not have any business to interfere in India’s internal matters.

“This is very serious,” he said, adding the situation arose due to “lack of experience” of the Modi government in foreign policy matters.

Recalling the rule of the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre, Sibal said: “We kept a fine balance in relations with the United States and China, knowing that both were important for the development of the region.”

Sibal also said that “of late China has started mentioning Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) as Pakistan’s”.

“I would request the Prime Minister to stop his light and sound show and start working on issues like these,” he said, taking a dig at Modi’s public meetings.

The Congress leader said the issue of China commenting on India’s internal matters will be taken up in Parliament on Monday.

He also accused Modi of keeping mum on atrocities against Dalits across the country.

Asked what the Congress’ stand was on the Goods and Services Tax bill, the Congress leader said that “GST will happen only if MST (‘meri suno toh’) happens.”

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