Cong, BJP slam Qureshi
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi's digs at Foreign Minister SM Krishna and Union Home Secretary GK Pillai came in for sharp attack from the Congress and the BJP. HT reports.delhi Updated: Jul 16, 2010 23:24 IST
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi's digs at Foreign Minister SM Krishna and Union Home Secretary GK Pillai came in for sharp attack from the Congress and the BJP.
The Congress praised Krishna for exercising restraint. The BJP accused him of lowering the "pride" of the country even while professing to stand with him on the "humiliation" heaped on him.
It also asked the government not to continue talks with Pakistan.
Qureshi had compared Pillai to Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Sayeed and claimed that Krishna came unprepared for the talks and was taking telephonic instructions from Delhi, which Krishna stoutly denied.
"The remarks were completely unjustified and condemnable," said Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan.
She defended Krishna, saying, "Whatever important mandate was given to the minister was carried out in an admirable way on foreign soil."
BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "We deeply condemn the utterly irresponsible statements of Qureshi against Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna. Basic diplomacy is not in the grain of Qureshi."
The BJP gave a hint of things to come in the coming Parliament session when it accused Krishna of lowering national pride by staying silent.
"Etiquette and dignity are all right, but the country's pride is also important," said Prasad.
"Krishna was silent when home secretary GK Pillai was compared to Hafiz Sayeed." Opposition leader Sushma Swaraj said there was no need to continue talks with a disinterested Pakistan.
NDA convenor Sharad Yadav accused the Centre of having "no consistency" in its foreign policy, recalling that the government had said it would not talk to Pakistan after the Mumbai terror strikes.