The BJP today slammed the Congress-led UPA government for what it said was its weak foreign policy, which the party alleged had led to situations like the one involving the diplomat Devyani Khobragade in the US and failed to prevent repeated violations along the borders with Pakistan and China.
Addressing the gathering at the BJP National Council in New Delhi, party president Rajnath Singh stressed that while his party favours cordial and friendly relations with other countries, it could not be at the expense of India’s self-esteem.
The BJP chief said that relations with the US have hit a low which was not seen even after the Pokhran-II nuclear tests under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime. “However much we condemn the undue harassment meted out to our diplomat (Khobragade) on American soil, it would not be enough. “The US view of this incident is completely unreasonable and condemnable,” Singh said. The BJP also demanded that India hold back the granting of Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan in the wake of recent incidents at the border.
India has made several attempts to improve relations with Pakistan, but those have ended in failure as Islamabad has not followed up its pronouncements with action, Singh said. “While UPA government claims it has no dialogue with Pakistan, prime ministers of the two countries, lawmakers and officials have been holding regular meetings. “A meeting between foreign ministers of India and Pakistan commences today,” Singh said, adding that the UPA government was allegedly trying to fool the people by claiming it was not a dialogue.
Singh said Pakistani forces have not only killed Indian soldiers but also beheaded them and displayed the head as a trophy in front of cameras. Expressing concern over intrusions by Chinese soldiers into Indian territory, Singh said it was even more worrisome that the neighbouring country was trying to create an anti-India atmosphere in the region.
“Today, China’s global trade has surpassed four trillion dollars, which is two times the size of the Indian economy. “China’s growing economic clout is providing an impetus to its geopolitical ambitions,” Singh said. He made the point that relations between New Delhi and Beijing would improve only when there is a decisive government at the Centre.
The BJP called for improving relations with Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan in the light of new geopolitical developments in India’s neighbourhood. Maintaining his attack on Congress, Singh said that while BJP wants the next government at the Centre to be a strong one, Congress and some foreign powers want a weak dispensation to replace UPA. Although he did not elaborate as to who these foreign powers were, Singh said that Congress did not want a stable government at the Centre as that would affect its chances of coming back to power.