Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma also attacked the Prime Minister’s engagement with Pakistan as “frivolous, unpredictable and full of abrupt U-turns” and asked what assurances he got on bringing back or punishing perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai attacks, especially Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, and on dismantling terror syndicates in Pakistan acting against India.”
“We are very clear that the Prime Minister is there to promote only private business interests and not India’s national interest which should be supreme,” said Mr Sharma.
Questioning the intent behind his visit, Congress rejected claims of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj that the Prime Minister’s move was ‘statesman-like’ and said it was “pre-arranged” by a businessman.
Mr Sharma said, “Diplomacy is serious, it must have gravitas and predictability. It cannot be frivolous otherwise it will implode on Shri Narendra Modi’s face.”
Rejecting Ms Swaraj’s claim that the visit was spontaneous, the Congress leader said “the External Affairs Minister claims, very foolishly so, that it’s statesman-like. We completely reject her claim. We have definitive information that this was pre-arranged.”
“This unannounced visit cannot be termed ‘statesman-like’. Diplomacy must have seriousness and gravitas,” he said.
The Congress leader questioned how many Prime Ministers or heads of states make such detours to wish birthdays, asking if any Indian Prime Minister has landed in another country in this manner in the last 67 years.
Mr Sharma alleged it is now in public domain that PM Modi used “vested private business interest” for a secret meeting with Nawaz Sharif in Kathmandu, which he alleged was organised at the behest of a businessman, claiming that he has now used the same channel for fixing this meeting in Lahore.
“The same industrialist who has business partnership with the ruling establishment in Pakistan was there for the last two days. This is out in the open,” he said, asking the Prime Minister to reveal the name of the businessman himself.
Mr Sharma also slammed PM Modi and BJP for adopting a “hawkish approach” during the UPA government and termed any meeting by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with his Pakistani counterpart as “anti-national”.