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Vajpayee bungled on Pak front: Natwar

Source: PTI
August 21, 2004 21:07 IST
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Accusing the previous Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government of failure on the Indo-Pak front, External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh today said that it was the 1972 Simla Accord, which ensured a better ties between the two countries for nearly 27 years.

Participating in the discussion on the comprehensive resolution at the day-long AICC session here, Singh said that the Vajpayee government only "bungled" on the matter during its six-year rule.

Kargil conflict took place immediately after the visit of the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Lahore in which 500 army jawans lost their lives, Singh said.

Despite the previous government's faux pas, the Congress supported its move to improve ties between the two countries, he said.

The BJP-led government talked of a "decisive" war against Pakistan shortly after the terrorist attack on Parliament and deployed 500,000 troops on the border for nearly a year without any rhyme or reason, he said.

Singh said that he had recently visited Pakistan and held talks with President Pervez Musharraf and other leaders.

As regards the relations with China, Singh said that it was the late Rajiv Gandhi who gave a new dimension to the ties with Beijing after his visit to the country in 1988 and today "we have ten billion dollar trade with China."

Referring to situation in Iraq, Singh said that the Vajpayee government had decided to send Indian troops to Iraq but it was Sonia Gandhi who stood firmly against it and the move was dropped.

"You can imagine what would have happened to our jawans had they gone there," he said.

Similarly, the previous government would have signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty but it did not do so as the Congress opposed it, he said.

He suggested that the demand for restructuring of the UN Security Council be included in the resolution as countries like India, Brazil, South Africa and Egypt be included in view of the changed world scenario.

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