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Govt briefs CPI-M about affairs in neighbourhood

The government had given a briefing on the same issue to the main opposition party, BJP, on Monday, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2007 20:13 IST

The government on Saturday briefed its key ally, the CPI-M, on the current political situation in the country's neighbourhood, especially in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

The government had given a briefing on the same issue to the main opposition party, BJP, on Monday.

CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat and politburo member Sitaram Yechury represented the CPI-M at the two-hour meeting.

"The briefing focussed on the situations in the neighbourhood. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee did the major part of the briefing. It was not exactly a discussion," Karat said.

Karat said that Yechury and he expressed their concern about the fast-changing political situation in Bangladesh, which is headed for polls on January 22.

One cause for concern is the decision taken by the 14-party mega alliance, led by Awami League's Sheikh Hasina, to boycott the election.

The government told the CPI-M delegates that it is keeping a watch on the developments and hopes that the polls would be free and fair.

"We also voiced our concerns about the escalating violence in Sri Lanka," Karat said. Mukherjee repeated that the Indian government was keeping a watch on the developments in the island nation.

On Pakistan, Karat said that Mukherjee was going to Pakistan on January 13 with an invitation for President Pervez Musharraf for SAARC. In Pakistan, Mukherjee would be calling on Musharraf and meeting his Pakistani counterpart Khurshid Mohammad Kasuri to invite the Pakistani leadership to attend the SAARC summit to be held in April.

Karat said, "We conveyed to the government that CPI-M wants the dialogue with Pakistan to be carried on." Incidentally, CPIM was one of the first parties to support the resumption of dialogue with Pakistan, which was stopped by India after the Mumbai blasts in July.

The situation in Nepal, Afghanistan and Bhutan also came up for discussion, a PMO spokesperson said.

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First Published: Jan 06, 2007 20:13 IST