Free Press Journal

Congress lashes out at PM Modi for unscheduled Pak visit


Anand Sharma

New Delhi: The Congress Party on Friday lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his sudden detour to Lahore for attending Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif’s birthday, saying the “unannounced visit cannot be termed statesman like” as the former hasn’t done anything to promote India’s national interest.

“I completely reject External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s claim that this visit is statesman like. It can’t be termed statesman like. Diplomacy must have seriousness and gravitas,” Congress leader Anand Sharma told media here.

“His External Affairs Minister claims, very ‘foolishly so’, that its statesman like, we completely reject her claim,” he added.

The Congress leader further said that the meet was “pre-arranged”, saying that both the Prime Ministers met for one hour in Kathmandu during the SAARC summit.

“He has not done so to promote India’s national interest. An industrialist who has a private business with ruling establishment in Pakistan is there already, so how is Prime Minister’s visit spontaneous?” he asked.

Congress leader Sharma further claimed that the Prime Minister has “not gone to Pakistan to take forward the roadmap to engage with Pakistan or build an understanding that would eliminate immediate threats”.

“How many Prime Ministers or Heads of States make such detours to wish birthdays? In last 67 years, has any Indian Prime Minister landed in another country in this manner,” he sought to know.

Prime Minister Modi landed at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport today on a surprise visit, where he was received by his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

This is the first time an Indian Prime Minister has visited Pakistan in more than a decade.