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Tharoor's remark utterly irresponsible: Opposition parties

Source: PTI
Last updated on: February 28, 2010 18:13 IST
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The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday condemned as 'utterly irresponsible' Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor's remark that Saudi Arabia could act as an interlocutor between India and Pakistan, saying it will seek a clarification from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Parliament.

Tharoor's comment is 'utterly irresponsible and we thoroughly condemn it,' BJP spokesman Ravishankar Prasad said in New Delhi.

The minister made the statement while being a part of the official delegation accompanying the prime minister on his visit to Saudi Arabia, he noted.

"Has the statement been made with the consent of the Prime Minister? Is this a trial balloon?" Prasad asked.

Since the time of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, either there have been no talks with Pakistan or the talks were bilateral, Prasad said.

"There has been no third party mediation. Tharoor's remarks are an insult to India's sovereignty. We will seek a clarification from the Prime Minister in Parliament," the BJP spokesman said.

He said these comments have come just after the feoreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan and the attack targeted at Indians in Kabul. Prasad's remarks came despite clarification from Tharoor that he did not mean that Saudi Arabia should be a mediator.

The Communist Party of India also criticised Tharoor's remark, saying it was an 'irresponsible' statement that was creating confusion regarding New Delhi's position on the matter.

CPI National Secretary D Raja said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should explain whether there is any shift in India's stand on resolving issues between India and Pakistan bilaterally.

"This is an irresponsible statement creating confusion. This one is deviating from India's stated position that no third party intervention is allowed in Indo-Pak relations," Raja said.

He said the Prime Minister owes an explanation to the nation and Parliament on the matter.

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