‘Lesson on How to Make Foreign Policy’: Chidambaram’s Dig at Modi Govt’s Flip-flop on Indo-Pak Talks

New Delhi: Former finance minister P Chidambaram on Friday took a dig at the government’s flip-flop over talks with Pakistan which the government called off in the wake of abduction and killing of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir by Hizbul Mujahideen.

“Monday – No talks, says MoS Defence, Tuesday – No talks, says HM, Wednesday – No Talks, says Defence Minister, Thursday – FMs will meet, says MEA. Friday – No Talks, says Government. That is a lesson on ‘How to make foreign policy,” Chidambaram tweeted.

His reaction came soon after government called off the scheduled meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of UNGA session that begins later this month.

The proposed meeting between both the countries would have been the first such high-level interaction between the neighbours after three years.

He had also taken a dig Thursday after the meeting was announced.

“Monday-No talks, says MoS Defence, Tuesday-No talks, says HM, Wednesday-No Talks, says Defence Minister, Thursday-FMs will meet says MEA. That is a lesson on ‘How to make foreign policy?’,” Chidambaram had said in a tweet.

The ministry of external affairs said on Friday evening that the decision to cancel the meeting was taken in the face of brutal killings of security personnel by Pakistani entities and the recent release of 20 postal stamps by the neighbouring country glorifying terrorists confirm that “Pakistan will not mend its ways”.

“The decision to agree to Pakistan’s proposal for a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of the two countries in New York later this month was in response to the spirit reflected in the letters from the new Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Pakistan. The letter from the Prime Minister of Pakistan had spoken of, inter alia bringing a positive change and mutual desire for peace as also readiness to discuss terrorism.

“Now, it is obvious that behind Pakistan’s proposal for talks to make a fresh beginning, the evil agenda of Pakistan stands exposed and the true face of the new Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has been revealed to the world in his first few months in office. Any conversation with Pakistan in such an environment would be meaningless,” said Raveesh Kumar, MEA spokesperson.

Reacting to the developments, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi blamed the decision on India’s “divided polity”.

“Pakistan’s stand is clear. We went ahead and wanted things to improve, but Hindustan is not willing. If they are not ready, then we will also not go ahead. India’s politics seems divided. It seems India is preparing for next elections. Issues complicated over decades needs to be resolved,” said Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

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