Venkaiah slams leaders ‘speaking language of Pakistan’

New Delhi, Oct 4 (IANS) Union Information & Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday lashed out at the opposition for “speaking the language of Pakistan” and seeking proof of India’s surgical strikes across the border.

“Some people are today speaking the language of Pakistan….. There is no need of any proof of Pakistan aiding and abetting terrorism,” asserted Naidu speaking at a launch ceremony of book “Modi’s Midas Touch in Foreign Policy” by former diplomat Surendra Kumar.

The minister asserted that soon such political leaders would “realise their mistakes” in endorsing the views of Pakistan.

A visibly-irked Naidu said Islamabad has never “walked the talk” for seeking a peaceful solution to problems and also in reference to the “assurance” it gave in 2004 that its territory would not be allowed to be used for terror activities.

He said that “India wants peace with all neighbouring countries including Pakistan”, but added that Islamabad has not reciprocated the Indian gestures of friendship especially during last two years.

Naidu said some leaders are indulging in “irresponsible talk” by demanding proof of surgical strikes as these only show their “lack” of confidence in and respect for Indian army.

The strong remarks come in the wake of demands from some Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders, including P. Chidambaram and Arvind Kejriwal, that the government needs to give proof of the recent surgical strikes in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Speaking on the occasion, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the last two-and-a-half years, has shown “incredible skill” in making new friends and establishing stronger bonds with old friends.

He said Modi has particularly given new dimension in the foreign policy in his dealings with African countries and while visiting and interacting with smaller Pacific Ocean based island nations and Indian diaspora across the world.

“Such leadership has changed the scenario,” he said and specially mentioned about improved ties with countries like Iran and United Arab Emirates.

Referring to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who had hailed Indira Gandhi for defeating Pakistan in the 1971 war, Naidu said the nation needs to stand united when forces inimical to India and its progress are bent upon disrupting the socio-economic fabric of the nation.

“Political considerations should be kept out of security operations,” he said.

Former diplomat Lalit Mansingh, who also spoke, however, said the book was written little ahead of its time as it says “India cannot conduct surgical strikes or use drones”.

“I do not blame the author Surendra Kumar for this. Circumstances have overcome him. Now you have to eat your words,” said the former Foreign Secretary.

BJP MPs Meenakshi Lekhi and Tarun Vijay also spoke at the event.



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