Congress questions foreign secretary's Pakistan visit

Congress questions foreign secretary's Pakistan visit

Former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid Friday questioned Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh's Aug 25 scheduled visit to Pakistan, adding the government owed explanation for kickstarting the dialogue with the neighbouring country.

"Is there any improvement in the circumstances that they are going for bilateral discussion? It is a clear case of hypocrisy on the part of the BJP which created a furore when UPA government held talks with Pakistan," he said at a press conference here.

He said: "We are not saying that India and Pakistan should not be holding diplomatic-level talks, but BJP even questioned us as to why we served biryani to visiting Pakistani officials."

"During our time, Pakistan promised certain things but did not fulfil those which is why we suspended the talks. We didn't resume dialogue. We just made some contact to find out if it is possible to hold discussions," he said.

"The BJP should explain what is the need for sending foreign secretary to Pakistan. Can one handshake compensate the damages that have been done," he asked, hinting to the one between Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at the former's swearing-in ceremony in May.

He also said given the developments, the BJP should now admit that its persistent opposition to any talks with Pakistan was a bad foreign policy stand as an opposition party.

The bilateral relations touched a low after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack of 2008, with India accusing Pakistan of protecting the attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed.

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