Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the BJP's seniormost leader Lal Krishna Advani clashed twice in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, during Advani’s speech on the motion of thanks following President Pratibha Patil’s February 22 joint address to Parliament.
Advani, in his speech, noted that US President Barack Obama had publicly said during his presidential campaign that he’d try to resolve the Kashmir issue. This was a setback for India, as earlier, Advani maintained, the US position had always been that it would not interfere in Kashmir unless India and Pakistan wanted it to.
Advani also referred to a Newsweek report, which quoted Indian and US sources saying India and Pakistan had restarted “I want the PM to tell Parliament what secret talks have taken place between India and Pakistan. If there are any secret talks on Kashmir between India and US, it will have serious consequences,” Advani said.
“How many times did (external affairs minister during the NDA regime) Jaswant Singhji talk with US government representatives?” responded Singh. “Was Parliament informed about those talks every time?”
Singh clarified: “What you are attributing to President Obama is not true. In my discussions with President Obama, he has unambiguously said there is no change in US policy towards India and Pakistan.”