Oppn ask government to be proactive on Afghanistan

Opposition question Modi's absence at all party meet, ask government to be proactive on Afghanistan

RSP member N K Premachandran cautioned the government over China riding piggyback on Pakistan and interfering in Afghanistan

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge. Credit: PTI File Photo

Opposition leaders on Thursday backed the Modi government's 'wait and watch' approach on the situation unfolding in Afghanistan, but wanted it to be “proactive” in engaging with other countries in responding to the crisis in the Taliban-controlled nation.

At an all-party meeting convened by the government to brief floor leaders in Parliament on Afghanistan, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge questioned the absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, contending that the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was present at similar briefings in 2001 when the US had attacked Afghanistan.

Kharge also objected to the deportation of a woman lawmaker from Afghanistan to Turkey, an “error” regretted by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who assured the floor leaders of being “super conscious” in handling such matters in the future.

A section of the opposition leaders claimed that India was “isolated” globally on the Afghanistan issue and despite its increasing dependence on the US, New Delhi was in the dark about the early pull out of troops by Washington from the strife-torn nation.

Jaishankar rejected the opposition contention, saying India has been coordinating with its international partners bilaterally as well as through multilateral forums on the response to the Afghanistan situation.

Also Read | Armed forces won't let political turmoil in any other country affect India: Birla on Afghan crisis

RSP member N K Premachandran cautioned the government over China riding piggyback on Pakistan and interfering in Afghanistan.

P Natarajan (CPI-M), Binoy Viswam (CPI) and Sukhendu Shekhar Ray (Trinamool) sought to know the fate of nearly 500 India-funded projects, including the Parliament building, in Afghanistan.

Almost all leaders, including Tiruchi Siva (DMK), Gajanan Kirtikar (Shiv Sena), were concerned about Indian nationals stranded in Afghanistan and urged the government to accord top priority for their evacuation.

Hasnain Masoodi (National Conference) said the Modi government's decision to scrap the special status of J&K and downgrade the state to a Union Territory had created a “fertile ground” for extremist forces to take root in the region.

“I asked the government to reverse the August 5, 2019 decision,” Masoodi said.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox