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August 16, 2016

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Ex-Indian foreign minister slams Modi for Balochistan reference

Ex-Indian foreign minister slams Modi for Balochistan reference

ISLAMABAD: Former Indian minister for external affairs Salman Khurshid on Monday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for raking up the Balochistan issue in his Independence Day address.

According to Indian media reports, Congress launched a scathing attack on Modi, accusing him of “ruining” India’s case on Pakistan-administered Kashmir by raking up the issue of Balochistan in his Independence Day address.

“PoK is our right. Our entitlement. We will support it. But by bringing in Balochistan, you are ruining our case... We are going to ruin our own case on PoK,” Salman Khurshid said.This would give an “additional handle” to Pakistan to target India as “we don’t speak about atrocities in neighbouring countries,” he told reporters at the Congress headquarters in Delhi.

“These are wild pronouncements about Balochistan. I do not know who advised the prime minister for raising Balochistan... It will dilute our claim on PoK. It will give additional handle...to interfere in our internal affairs. “Balochistan is a different kettle altogether. We have no business (there).”

He said the problem with Modi, who speaks of “56-inch chest”, was that he “talks too much and does very little. In modern times, we have to act with brains”.

News Desk adds: Chief Justice of India TS Thakur on Monday said he was “disappointed” that Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech did not mention about appointment of judges, further escalating a contentious issue between the judiciary and the executive.

In his speech after hoisting the national flag at the Indian Supreme Court, Thakur said the prime minister had mentioned a lot of things in his Independence Day speech but left out the pending topic of appointment of judges to higher courts.

“I heard the popular prime minister for one and a half hours... I expected some mention about justice also, about appointment of judges,” the chief justice said at a function.“I want to tell the prime minister only one thing, you remove poverty, create employment, bring schemes etc but also think about justice for the countrymen,” Thakur added.

He said the issue was hampering the functioning of the judiciary with courts taking 10 years to clear cases, the same as that during British time.Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad — who had last week said in parliament that there was no friction between the judiciary and the government — was seated on the dais when the CJI made these remarks. The chief justice’s remark comes three days after a bench headed by him lashed out at the government almost accusing it of bringing the judiciary to a standstill by stalling the appointment of judges to high courts.

Reacting to the CJI’s remark, Congress leader Rajiv Shukla said: “We have been seeing regular clashes between the judiciary and the government. There are statements coming from both sides. If there is an issue about appointment of judges, then they should sit together and discuss rather than making such statements in public.”

 

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