Mon, Feb 20, 2017 | updated 04:19 PM IST

BJP urges Congress to stand united on national issues

Updated: Aug 16, 2016 13:49 IST

New Delhi, Aug 16 (ANI): Condemning former external affair minister Salman Khurshid's remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day speech, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday urged the Congress to stand by the Centre on national issues.

Naqvi said that when the people of Balochistan welcomed Prime Minister Modi's statement, it is difficult to comprehend why is the Congress opposing his speech.

"One thing is clear that peace and democracy is India's international commitment. India has always stood by peace and democracy and always will. We understand the way people of Balochistan welcomed and appreciated Prime Minister's reference of the nation in his Independence Day speech but we are not able to understand the criticism of the confused Congress party," said Naqvi.

"On one hand Balochistan is thanking our Prime Minister and on the other the congress in drawing flaks. Pakistan got anxious by Prime Ministers statement this we can accept but why is Congress objecting to. The whole nation should stand united on National issues like these. I would like to tell this to congress that you want to criticize the BJP or the Prime Minister you do it but if it also opposes Centre on National issues then it will not be forgiven by the people of the nation," he added.

Khurshid yesterday said the Prime Minister should not have spoken openly about Balochistan.

"We do this in private conversations. between diplomats and leaders. and convey our concerns. We don't make these pronouncements as policy pronouncements," he said.

"We have been complaining about Pakistan. Should we be doing the same, then are we not ruining our case and losing the high moral ground. It would give an additional handle to Pakistan to target India," he added.

However, the Congress went into damage control mode after Khurshid's statement and party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said former EAM's comment about Balochistan being an internal matter of Pakistan may be his personal opinion.

He further asserted that the Congress believes that human rights violations in Balochistan is an issue related to India.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an oblique reference to the human rights situation in Pakistan's Balochistan province besides Gilgit and other areas of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort.

"People of Balochistan, Gilgit and PoK have thanked me a lot in past few days, I am grateful to them," Prime Minister Modi said while addressing the nation on the occasion of 70th Independence Day.

"This is the example of our humanitarian approach, but there are some countries who glorify terrorists. To the youth who have taken up guns, I urge them to return to their parents and shun violence," he added.

Gilgit-Baltistan has witnessed massive protests that erupted against a crackdown by Pakistan's security forces in recent weeks and resource rich Balochistan province has seen a crackdown by the Pakistani authorities who say they are quelling an insurgency in the region.

In the past, Pakistan has accused India of supporting the Baloch insurgency. (ANI)

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