Before former prime minister Manmohan Singh slammed the Narendra Modi-led NDA government’s foreign policies on Sunday, the 84th Plenary Session of the Congress noted that the government’s foreign policies had “damaged India’s profile globally and undermined national interest.”
In its draft resolution on foreign policy, the party said that the Modi government is “carried away by it’s own propaganda” and has “mismanaged” relations with major partner countries. “PM has pursued a personalised Foreign Policy. The Foreign Policy engagements and PM’s visits abroad, have been reduced to being purely transactional,” the resolution stated.
Apart from lamenting about the NDA-government’s foreign policy, the party also put forward its own vision on dealing with diplomatic thaws and more.
Calling Modi government’s Pakistan policy a disaster, the Congress in its resolution said BJP had no roadmap for the future. It also claimed that the UPA government’s work in removing India-Pakistan hyphenation was undone by the BJP. “It is a matter of concern, that there is a danger of that hyphenation being revived as a result of renewed international focus on Indo-Pak tensions,” it said.
The Congress also said there was no “discernible shift” on Pakistan’s part when it came to using “cross-border terrorism as an instrument of state policy.” Increase in hostilities along the border and Line of Control (LOC) require an appropriate response, the Congress said. However by using Pakistan policy as a “divisive domestic issue”, the BJP was undermining the robust security measures being used to tackle cross-border terrorism.
Keeping in mind the trading relations between India and China, the Congress explained that the relations with Beijing should not only be marked with pragmatism but also realism. “It should remain our endeavour to work for peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues,” it said.
Recalling the 2005 India-China agreement on settling the boundary issue, the Congress said “a set of political parameters and guiding principles” enshrined in the pact should be reaffirmed and continue to be the basis on which, India should engage China. The resolution also stresses on the need for maintaining favourable economic diplomacy to further India’s economic interests.
Noting the turmoil in the Southasian region, the party said India was facing a major challenge in the subcontinent. “Never before in Independent India’s history, has the country been so diminished in its immediate periphery,” the resolution said. The party said that via “episodic engagement” we had allowed international players, particularly China, to influence the leaders of certain countries.
Citing the recent developments in Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, Congress said these needed to be handled carefully and the country should not get involved in the domestic politics of these regions. “Unless India is able to manage its neighbourhood effectively, it will be unable to play any credible regional or global role,” the resolution stated. The fact that India’s relations with China and Pakistan are important for its regional stability was not missed by the Congress.
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