Centre should come clean on 'secret' meet with Sharif: Congress
| Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 08:55
New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday asked the government to come clean on the reported "secret meeting" between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the SAARC summit in Kathmandu last year.
The Congress also wanted to know from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government if issues of concern had been raised by him.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said there has been "an eloquent silence" by the government on the issue since reports in the media about an hour-long secret meeting on the sidelines of the Saarc summit in Kathmandu.
Stating that reports have mentioned the meeting was facilitated by an industrialist, Singhvi took a jibe at the government saying, if the government felt the External Affairs Ministry was incompetent for the purpose.
"Did the prime minister at all have meeting with the Pakistan leader? If yes, do you think the MEA is incompetent that (you) have to employ services of a private industrialist," Singhvi asked.
He asked if the prime minister had raised the issue of over 900 ceasefire violations by Pakistan in past 18 months and about Mumbai terror attack accused not being brought to justice.
The spokesperson also sought to know from Modi if he had asked Sharif about Pakistan's objections to India getting membership of the UN Security Council.
Singhvi criticised the BJP-led central government's policy on Pakistn, as he said: "The policy on Pakistan is confused, contradictory and directionless. Dilly-dallying on the sensitive issue has been an uninterrupted approach since Narendra Modi's swearing in," Singhvi said.
Singhvi said the official Indian position during the Saarc summit in Kathmandu in November last year was that there were no plans for any substantive and structured discussions between Modi and Sharif.
A media report said Modi and Sharif held an hour-long secret meeting on the sidelines of the Saarc summit. The meet was facilitated by Indian steel magnate Sajjan Jindal, brother of former Congress MP Naveen Jindal.
The paper said revelations have been made by journalist Barkha Dutt in her debut book, 'This Unquiet Land -- Stories from India's Fault Lines'.