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Visit pre-planned: Cong

The Congress party on Friday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Pakistan, saying diplomacy cannot be fun and games but needs seriousness and maturity.

“Relation between India and Pakistan is important. Diplomacy needs seriousness and maturity, it’s not a fun,” senior Congress leader Anand Sharma told reporters here at a press conference. Sharma rejected External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s claim that Modi’s gesture was statesman like.

“I reject completely Sushma Swaraj’s claim that this is statesman like,” he said. Sharma also claimed that Modi’s Pakistan visit was pre-arranged and not a spontaneous decision.

“We think it was pre-arranged and not a spontaneous decision. An industrialist, who has a private business with ruling establishment in Pakistan is there already; so how is the PM visit spontaneous,” Sharma wondered.

Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar said: “It is unfortunate that we get to know about Prime Minister’s visit through a tweet... India and Pakistan relations are not so good as yet that he stops over there on his way back from another country.” He further questioned: “The Parliament session got over just a few days back, why was Parliament and the country left in the dark. Why didn’t the Prime Minister take the country and Parliament in confidence.”

Congress leader Manish Tewari called it an “adventure” by the Indian Prime Minister. “This adventure of the Prime Minister will have serious impact on national security; there were no changes in relationship (with Pakistan) by NSA talks, or Heart of Asia conference. Eventually Prime Minister needs to answer what has changed in ground situation,” Tewari said.

Meanwhile, senior AAP leader Ashutosh said it was BJP and Modi who were opposing talks with Pakistan under the pretext of terrorism. He questioned whether terrorism has completely stopped as Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif has now become a likable figure to Modi.

“It’s BJP/Modi who has been opposing talks with Pakistan during the time of (former Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh under the pretext of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. What has changed now? We have always been saying (that) engagement with Pakistan is needed but BJP was opposing. Now, they should explain – itna yaarana kyon lag raha hain Modiji (why so much friendship),” Ashutosh tweeted.
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