Kolkata: Superficial talks between leaders will not succeed in strengthening India-Pakistan relations against the backdrop of calls for ‘Akhand Bharat’ and not allowing Pakistani artistes and the cricket team to ply their trade on Indian soil, CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury said here on Sunday.
Referring to the recent meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Lahore, Yechury took a dig at Modi for his comments during the 2014 Lok Sabha poll campaign that there would be no talks with Islamabad unless it stopped terrorism targeted at India.
“He (Modi) used to say he has a 56-inch chest. He had said ‘we won’t talk to Pakistan unless they stop terrorism’. Now talks have started,” Yechury said in his address at a huge rally at the Brigade Parade Ground that kick-started the Communist Party of India-Marxist’s five-day plenum here.
He said that while the CPI-M supported talks between the two countries to strengthen bilateral ties, “superficial talks” will not yield any result.
“Talks are needed. Talks should take place. Relations between the two countries need to be strengthened. For this, we are with you.
“But you cannot hear (Pakistani) ghazal singer Ghulam Ali in Mumbai. You won’t allow the Pakistan cricket team to play here. This sort of superficial talks will yield no result,” he said.
Ghulam Ali’s concert in Mumbai was called off after resistance from the Shiv Sena in October. The Shiv Sena had also spoken out against India hosting the Pakistan cricket team for a bilateral series.
In this context, Yechury mentioned BJP general secretary Ram Madhav’s articulation on Al Jazeera television of the RSS’s long-time stand that one day, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh “which for historical reasons separated only 60 years ago, will again, through popular goodwill, come together and Akhand Bharat will be created”.
The CPI-M leader said more communal poison will now spread in the country.
“The Bajrang Dal and the RSS have said clearly that bricks have reached Ayodhya. And they have announced that the temple will come up at the very disputed spot. This is happening when the Supreme Court is yet to give its verdict.
“The effort is to create communal tension and spread communal poison so that our brothers fight among each other. In this way, the BJP is trying to strengthen its grip over power.”
Yechury also took potshots at Modi for his frequent foreign trips.
“He doesn’t know when he is leaving some country or when he is returning to India. On the same day, he is having breakfast in Kabul, lunch in Lahore with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and then having his evening tea in Delhi.”