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March 1, 2018

India in US camp with no returns: Salman Khurshid

National

March 1, 2018

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not told the "truth" to the opposition about the conversations he has had with the Pakistani leadership and the government's policy vis-a-vis the neighbouring country had reached a "dead end", says former External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.

He also feels India is losing its grip on the world in foreign policy and has gone into the US camp with very little returns.

"Our policy on Pakistan is at a dead end. We are losing people every day. We keep saying we are giving it back to them. Years of losing civilians and soldiers and years of saying we are giving it back to them isn't really my idea of a good foreign policy," Khurshid told IANS in an interview.

Khurshid, a senior Congress leader, said it was more than clear that "we do not have a war option with Pakistan".

"So our failure is writ large. We have to find a solution. It is not our job in the opposition to give him a solution unless he consults with us. Unless he asks us what can be done. But this is not something that can be allowed to go on indefinitely," he said.

Asked if the Congress party had any suggestions for the government, he said, "We have no suggestions except that he should first tell us to the truth".

The former minister said India has been unable to go "beyond a certain point with our agenda as far as the US is concerned".

"Yes, I certainly think we have gone into the US camp. We have got very little in return. We used to get concrete results from being with the (erstwhile) Soviet Union -- not just with it, but with the rest of the world that was aligned towards socialism. So I think there are major issues there. And we have gone in blind, we haven't calculated properly."

"I don't think in foreign policy, if you look around the neighbourhood, if you look around West Asia, if you look around Europe, if you look at Africa, I don't think we have a consistently coordinated foreign policy posture that will be appreciated in the world. The way we are jumping from leg to leg on Israel and Palestine, the way we are dealing with China vis-a-vis Japan and China itself, the way we are keeping a very low relationship with Russia," he said.