Arun Jaitley asks Congress to ‘explain need’ for meeting with Pakistani representatives

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Arun Jaitley asks Congress to 'explain need' for meeting with Pakistani representatives
NEW DELHI: Union minister Arun Jaitley on Monday hit out at the Congress, demanding to know why it had felt the need to engage with Pakistan’s former foreign minister and its envoy a few days ago, when the national position on talks with the neighbouring country is well known.

“Congress and its leadership should come out with detailed facts of the meeting and the necessity of the meeting in present circumstances,” said Jaitley at a press conference.

He was responding to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who earlier today accused PM Modi of spreading “falsehood and canards” about a meeting between Congress leaders and the former foreign minister of Pakistan and its envoy at suspended party leader’s Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house.

At a rally on Sunday, PM Modi had alleged that the “three-hour secret meeting” was attended by Pakistan’s high commissioner, its former foreign minister, former PM Manmohan Singh, and former Vice-President Hamid Ansari.

He had further charged that the Congress and certain entities in Pakistan may be working together to prevent the BJP from winning Gujarat.

Jaitley added that the Congress wanted PM Modi to apologise for its own “misadventure.”

He said that since the principal Opposition party was an important player in India’s domestic politics, it is expected to honour the national position on various issues.

“India’s national position with regards to talks with Pakistan and the level of engagement are well known to everyone. The principal Opposition party is also an important player in India’s domestic politics. Therefore, when there’s a national position on an issue, all responsible groups of India are expected to honour that position,” he said.

Responding to former PM Singh’s jibe at the Modi government’s track record on fighting terror, Jaitley said detractors only had to follow media reports to understand how well the current dispensation had fared in the matter.

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