Menon briefs Congress MPs on Indo-Pak joint statement


Menon briefed a group of party MPs from both the Houses on the technical details of the statement so that they were aware of all the details of the communique before the discussion on the issue, sources said here.

The Indo-Pak joint statement, issued after the meeting between Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani, came under attack from all sides for delinking of terror from the composite dialogue process and the reference to Balochistan.

Singh's intervention has assumed significance in view of the fact that the Congress has so far failed to openly come out in support of him on the issue.

Sources said some of the members also raised the issue of "bad drafting" of the Joint Statement and sought to know what was actually meant by the draft's portions which talk of delinking terror from composite dialogue and the mention of Balochistan.

These are the two issues over which the opposition has been attacking the government since the issuing of joint statement in Egypt.

"Foreign Secretary briefed us on some relevant points regarding the text of Joint Statement. There were some specific queries from the members and the Foreign Secretary explained those points in detail," a party leader said.

The aim of the meeting was to equip the spokespersons as well as party MPs to deal with the issue appropriately inside the Parliament as well in public domain, he added.

Those briefed in the meeting included Congress spokespersons Manish Tewari, Jayanti Natrajan, Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khursheed, Minister of State in PMO Prithviraj Chavan, Jagdambika Pal, Sanjay Nirupam, Sandip Dikshit and Rashid Alvi.

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