New Delhi, Aug 3: Lambasting at the opposition over their observations on India’s foreign policy against the background of Chinese incursions in Doklam and Pakistan’s terror sponsoring, Minister of External Affairs (MEA) Sushma Swaraj said, “War cannot be the solution to any issues, we need to have patience to resolve them diplomatically and peacefully”.
Replying to the opposition debate on foreign policy in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday Swaraj took them to task by posing some unpalatable counter questions to Congress member Anand Sharma and others.
The debate started with Opposition parties accusing the government of spoiling relations with the neighbours and said India should not be isolated in the process of isolating Pakistan.
Trying to corner the government on the standoff with China over the Doklam issue, Anand Sharma of the Congress sought a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Why is the Prime Minister Narendra Modi silent? NSA did not share what was discussed in meeting, why? What is China's intent? I am not questioning my government. Why did China deny any discussion with my government," says Anand Sharma.
Taking the Opposition head on Sushma Swaraj raised the issue of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi meeting the Chinese Envoy in Delhi. She said that she was pained with the fact that the leader of the biggest opposition party called China’s ambassador to know about the situation in China when he could asked about it from the government of India”. (Dukhi hu iss baat se ki sabse bade pramukh vipakshi dal ke neta ne China ke stithi janne ke liye Bharat ke netritva ko poochne ke bajaye China ke rajdoot ko bulana theek samjha)
Rejecting the possibility of war with China or Pakistan, she said, “War cannot be a solution to any problem. Even after wars we sit and talk to find a solution. Wisdom lies in resolving issued diplomatically”. “We have a strong Army but war is not a solution. The diplomatic channels are at work with China,” she added.
The MEA said that China's action in Doklam was of concern to India. “The Chinese are selectively quoting Jawaharlal Nehru’s letter. Peace and tranquillity with China is important. Doklam can be resolved through bilateral talks," she added.
When Anand Sharma recalled Pt Nehru’s foreign policy Sushama retorted back, “Pandit Nehru gained personally from his foreign policy but PM Modi has earned respect for the country. PM Modi has brought glory to India,” she said.
“We helped countries like Maldives, Sri Lanka, Nepal when they were in need. We were the first to help Nepal during the earthquake. Nations which seek our help, are our friends.”
“It is India's duty to protect our friends. The world sees India differently now,” she added.
Warning the opposition from criticizing foreign policy, she said, “Don’t cast aspersions on our foreign policy. You (the opposition) are the ones creating concerns. We have secured Hambantota port. The statements made by some opposition MPs contradict facts.”
“We have improved ties with our neighbours. Bhutan is our dearest friend.”
"We tried to extend the hand of friendship to Pakistan but after Burhan Wani’s death the relationship has changed. Terror and talks cannot go hand-in-hand,” Sushma said.
“We are talking with China on everything, not just Doklam. China has big investments in India. Also, you have to understand that both Russia and the US are with us,” she further added.
“Israel is out dear friend but that does not mean we will let down the Palestinian cause ever.” “India’s relations with the Arab countries in the best in the world, she said, adding “We rescued 4700 Indians from Yemen during their fight with Saudi Arabia. It happened thanks to the help from both sides.”
“Our stance remains the same on climate change. Despite US President Donald Trump’s allegations on India taking bribes, we stood against it. PM Modi has the guts to stand against Donald Trump and the US.
“PM Modi is now shaping global agendas. The PM has let our differences not turn into disputes. How can the Congress ask us to not oppose the CPEC? The previous government's foreign policy was 'PMO' driven.
“POK is an integral part of India. Entire Kashmir is ours, Sushma Swaraj reiterated.