Opp demands debate on foreign policy of Modi govt

SansadTV Bureau
New Delhi: A scene in Lok Sabha during the winter session of Parliament in New Delhi.   Photo - PTI

New Delhi: A scene in Lok Sabha during the on-going winter session of the Parliament in New Delhi.
Photo – PTI

A day after National Security Advisor Ajit Kumar Doval met his Pakistani counterpart Lt Gen (Retd) Nasir Khan in Bangkok, the Opposition in the Lok Sabha demanded statement from the Central government over its foreign policy initiatives. On Sunday, the two NSAs held a meeting in Janjua in Bangkok taking up the issues concerning Jammu and Kashmir, terrorism and tranquillity along the Line of Control (LoC). Last few months have witnessed intense firing and cross-border shelling along the LoC by Pakistan rangers leading to deaths and injury to the civilians and Indian armed forces.

Early on Monday, senior MP of Trinamool Congress Saugata Roy sought a debate on the Centre’s foreign policy initiatives, moving an adjournment notice during the Question Hour.

While, the notice to adjourn Question Hour was dismissed by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu assured reply on the same. Mr. Naidu also apprised the lower house that Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was busy with visiting Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim and hence was not present in the House.

Sushma-gen“We have taken note of the concerns of the House and will convey to the External Affairs Minister and a response will be given to the House at the earliest,” Naidu said.

Ms Swaraj is scheduled to travel to Pakistan on a two-day visit starting Tuesday. During the visit, she will hold talks with Pakistan PM’s advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, besides participating in a multilateral conference on Afghanistan.

The Union External Affairs minister is also expected to meet Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during her stay in Islamabad. During her visit, Sushma Swaraj will be accompanied by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.

It will be a first visit at the level of Foreign minister between the two countries in last three years. Former Union External Affairs minister SM Krishna had travelled to Islamabad in 2012, post which the India and Pakistan had signed a visa liberalisation pact.

(With inputs from the PTI)