HT Image
HT Image

'UPA treating Indo-US Nuke deal as private affair'

Charging the UPA government with treating the Indo-US nuclear deal as its private affair, the BJP says the suspense on the issue of vital importance to the nation must end soon.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 19, 2008 09:18 PM IST

Charging the UPA government with treating the Indo-US nuclear deal as its "private affair", the main Opposition BJP on Wednesday said the suspense on the issue of vital importance to the nation must end soon.

"The country is confused. What do you intend to do on Indo-US nuclear deal. Please end the suspense or else go the other way and call the bluff. Stop treating it as a private affair of two political parties," senior party leader Jaswant Singh said in the Rajya Sabha.

Initiating the debate on foreign policy developments, Singh said the issue has been dragged on for too long."

He said that the government should call the bluff of the Left and be prepared to work as minority government even if they (Left) pull the plug.

"What would happen at the most. You will continue as a minority government. I can assure you," he said.

Singh said he would have preferred a response from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on foreign policy and was disappointed with what he called "relegation of this very important subject".

He said it was time the Government moved from an "invisible foreign policy" to an effective one with regard to India's neighbourhood.

Singh was critical of Government's policy towards Pakistan and the stand adopted by it on the Tibetan crisis.

He said the External Affairs Minister's statement referred to the situation in Gaza and West Bank, but "totally inexplicably" decided not to share the Government's thoughts on Iraq and Iran.

He pointed out that both Iran and Iraq form part of our neighbourhood and forgetting Tehran should be done at "our own cost".

Referring to China, Singh criticised the stand taken by the Government on Tibet and asked it to be "very clear" given the importance that region holds for India.

He was critical of the term 'boundary' used by the two countries to resolve their border dispute.

Singh also drew the Government's attention to reports about China building a dam on the Tsangpo, known in India as Brahmaputra, to generate power and divert the river which he said would affect Arunachal Pradesh and whole of Brahmaputra basin.

"The project is scheduled to start next year. There is no time for us to seriously take it up," he said.

He sought to contrast the Government's stand on Tibet to the policy it had adopted with regard to Nepal.

The sovereignty of Nepal did not stand in the way of Government's policy that was detrimental to the Himalayan country's national interest. "We too are contributors to the vortex of chaos in Nepal," he added.

Singh said he was taken aback by the "rather patronising tone" of China and its patting on India's back for New Delhi's action against Tibetan protestors.

"I was taken aback by the manner in which Delhi police arrested and protested peaceful protest march by Tibetans," he said. He sought to remind the Government that Buddhism had its origin in India.

On Pakistan, he said a stable Pakistan which is economically viable and socially and politically at peace with itself is good for Indo-Pak relations and the region as a whole.

"I don't think we are contributing to that with near invisible posture that we currently have," he added. MORE

He said Afganisatan and Iraq are "consequences of an utter failure of the policies of the US in the region."

Taking part in the discussion, Rashid Alvi (Congress) demanded the government to look after the interests of the Indian side in foreign with China.

He also questioned government's decision to launch Israeli sattelite from India.

Brij Bhushan Tiwari (SP) and V Maitreyan(AIADMK) also took part in the discussion.

Story Saved