My Statement on Modi Government’s Flip Flop Policy on Pakistan

PRESS RELEASE

April 08, 2016

Randeep Singh Surjewala, Incharge Communications, AICC has issued the following statement to the press today:-

Pakistan’s unilateral suspension of talks with India yesterday is a clear betrayal of peace process and its commitment to resolve all bilateral issues through peaceful negotiation. Constructive engagement has always been the foundation of our relationship with our neighbours, including Pakistan. Sadly, this foundation is now shaky.

Sudden calling off peace talks with India by Pakistan is also reflective of how Modi government’s flip-flop policy vis-à-vis Pakistan has allowed Pakistan to set the agenda in the dialogue process. In his quest for an image make over as that of a statesman, Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has dismantled the entire matrix of our Strategic and Diplomatic advantages over Pakistan. What is all the more tragic is fact that efforts of previous Congress government in isolating Pakistan internationally as an ‘epicenter of terror’ has been undone because of unthought of and poorly deliberated moves by Shri Narendra Modi in engagement with Pakistan.

Modi government’s ‘Pak Policy’ has confused its most ardent admirers and baffled security experts and diplomats alike. They began with the spectacle of ‘saree — shawl’ diplomacy in May, 2014. Then came the ‘on and off’ Foreign Secretary level talks with invitation to Hurriyat and intense shelling on border. Similar was the fate of ‘off and on’ engagements of Prime Minister, Modi on the side lines of SAARC summit in Kathmandu in November, 2014; in Sanghai in July, 2015 and finally on the sidelines of Ufa in Paris. Meanwhile, over 900 border ceasefire violations by Pakistan, militant attacks in J&K and two terrorist attacks in Dinanagar — Gurdaspur, Punjab and Udhampur, J&K continued unabated. Prime Minister, Shri Modi then made an impromptu visit to Pakistan and attended wedding festivities alongwith Prime Minister, Shri Nawaz Sharief. Low and behold, Pathankot Airbase is attacked immediately thereafter by Pakistani terrorist on 2nd January, 2016 leading to loss of precious lives.

Despite all this, Shri Narendra Modi ignoring all pleas, invited Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team to Pathankot to investigate the terror attack that originated from the Pakistani soil. Shri Modi and Shri Amit Shah assured the Nation that warm welcome be accorded to Pak’s JIT including the infamous ISI. Despite repeated warnings by Congress Party, government took a U-turn of making a distinction between State and non-State actors in Pakistan engaged in anti-India terror activities. Naturally, Pak’s JIT went back and preposterously blamed India for orchestrating the Pathankot terror attack itself.

Contrast with the steady doctrine under UPA regime when Dr. Manmohan Singh had refused to engage with Pakistan until it showed sincerity in punishing the perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, ending the ceasefire violations and keeping border peaceful. Pakistan was, in fact, held responsible on the international stage for perpetrating crimes on Indians

Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has been run out by Pakistan in his dangerous quest for a non-existent run. BJP government and Shri Modi need to ponder over the following:-

1. In the last two years, Pakistan has been able to reposition itself from being a Pariah in the global system to now again being seen as a pivot for regional stability — the 4 nation talks on Afghanistan, the sale of F-16s are signs of how we have allowed the Pakistanis to reemerge within the global order.

2. This new space available to Pakistan also tells us about the state of our relationships with other global powers namely the US, Russia and China. Each of them in recent weeks and months have been more than willing in demonstrating their support or keenness to engage with Pakistan. The US has as mentioned lifted the moratorium on sale of F-16s; the Chinese have supported Pak version n Masood Azhar and terrorism generally and sweetened the Pakistan cup with a multi-billion dollar economic corridor that itself recognizes Pakistan’s rights over disputed tracts of land and legitimizes Chinese territorial claims over others. The Russians, our most trusted friends in the international community, have lifted embargo on sale of arms to Pakistan and are on the verge of starting a strategic relationship with Pakistan.

3. It seems that not only are we breathing life into a state recognized just a few years back as the epicenter of terror, we are also permitting it to put Kashmir back on Centre stage as against defending itself on the ground of being a supporter of terror activities.

4. As a responsible opposition party and as Indians we believe this moment allows us an opportunity to recalibrate, pause and reflect and course correct, and we would like to engage and offer support to the ruling dispensation if they deem it necessary.

Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and BJP need to seriously introspect and answer these important issues to the Nation.

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