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Government lacks statecraft to handle Pakistan: Congress
Saturday August 22, 2015 10:14 PM, IANS

New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday alleged that Pakistan was using the Hurriyat to sabotage NSA level talks with India and also blamed the government for lacking a "coherent approach" and "statecraft" in dealing with the issue.

"Diplomacy and statecraft are serious issues; this government lacks a coherent approach, clarity or a roadmap in resolving issues with Pakistan," Congress leader Anand Sharma said on Saturday.

He questioned India's "eagerness" to hold talks.

"Why India has shown its eagerness to host the talks, propose the dates, when Pakistan took weeks even to give an indication of its acceptance. We should have seen through the Pakistani design," he said.

Sharma advised the government to proceed only if there were deliverables from the Pakistani establishment.

"The government should only proceed if there are going to be deliverables, which we doubt. Our advice to government is to be cautious and by default do not help the Pakistani propaganda," said Sharma.

He said Pakistan used this as an opportunity to divert attention from terrorism.

"It is very clear. Pakistan diverted attention from the two major terrorist attacks. Pakistan and its establishment is answerable because the attacks were launched from their territory," the Congress leader said.

"They used Hurriyat to sabotage talks, win propaganda and divert attention... By doing this Kashmir has been highlighted in the entire world. Just before the UN General Assembly session."

Sharma said Pakistan was clearly not interested in talks.

"Immediately after the Ufa talks between the prime ministers of both the countries, they started firing, giving message to Nawaz Sharif and to us that the agreement doesn't have their consent," he added.

The Congress leader also objected to the fact that parliament was not taken into confidence ahead of the talks and no details of the Ufa agreement were given.

"For NSA level talks, the trial of the Mumbai terror accused should be brought to satisfactory conclusion. Parliament and the country should have been informed about the guarantees given to our PM in Ufa by Pakistan PM."

"Both parliament and the people of India continue to be kept in dark as to what was the basis of the understanding between the two prime ministers to initiate the process of talks at the NSA-level."

He added that after the entire episode, the focus shifted from ceasefire violations on the LoC and the two terror attacks in Udhampur and in Gurdaspur.

"Now the focus has shifted and those who are answerable - the culprits - for attacks from Pakistani territory on India have diverted attention completely without being held accountable and also ensuring the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of these two recent attacks," Sharma said.

He added that Pakistan has used the episode for its own propaganda.

"It is very clear that what was agreed did not have that complete endorsement and Pakistan is using the build-up to the NSA level talks for propaganda purposes at the cost of India," he said.

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