Foreign Affairs Minister SM Krishna’s remark that there could be no talks with Pakistan till action is taken against Hafiz Sayeed — the mastermind of Mumbai terror attacks — caused uproar in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
The Opposition termed it contradictory to the stand taken by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the NAM summit in Egypt.
The PM had favoured resumption of talks with Pakistan and had told Parliament last week that he was following the vision of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“There is a confusion on India’s diplomatic efforts with Pakistan. We want a clarification from the government on Krishna’s statement,” BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said during zero hour.
Earlier, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh accused the government of not coming clear on its foreign policy with regard to Pakistan.
The Opposition did not allow others to speak during Zero Hour forcing Deputy Speaker Karia Munda to adjourn the House for 30 minutes.
When the House resumed, Leader of Opposition LK Advani sought a clarification on the issue saying they would welcome any decision on no talks with Pakistan till Sayeed was penalised or handed over to India. When the government refused to give any assurance on issuing a clarification, the BJP, JD(U), SP and RJD, walked out. The Congress said the differences in the government as stated by the Opposition existed only in their mind.
“There are no differences between the PM and External Affairs Minister over the issue. The differences exists in their (the Opposition's) mind,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said.
Sharad Yadav of JD(U) said that after the attack on Mumbai India had the chance to prove Pakistan was sponsoring terrorism but the chance was lost with the joint statement in Egypt. “Krishna’s statement has officially confirmed this,” he said. Lalu Prasad of RJD said that Krishna’s statement showed that the government was learning from its mistakes.