New Delhi: Indian foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been derailed and made “directionless”, former external affairs minister and senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid has said.
He also stressed that diplomacy “cannot be based on personal agenda” and has to look “beyond one’s own nose”.
“Where is the foreign policy under this regime? We have not seen one during the last two years,” Khurshid told IANS in an interview here.
Asked how, as the country’s former external affairs minister, he would assess the performance of the Narendra Modi regime on the diplomatic front in the last two years, Khurshid said: “The foreign policy has been derailed and now it is directionless”.
“I should say it is a case of myopia. Any country’s foreign policy has to look beyond one’s own nose,” Khurshid said.
“It cannot get personal; a good diplomatic policy cannot be based on personal agenda. There is a complete failure because nothing really seems to have been achieved by the country despite the fact that the prime minister has travelled so much abroad,” he said.
Khurshid said the “worst part” is that India has “lost friends” in the neighbourhood.
“From Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal... we seem to be losing out everyone,” he said.
To another question on the Modi government’s Pakistan policy, especially in the context of the prime minister’s unscheduled visit to Lahore on December 25, 2015, he said: “What did he achieve for the country, what was the use? His visit was soon followed by the Pathankot terror attack.”
“I will say terror attack on the Pathankot airbase is a testimony of the complete failure of the Modi government’s Pakistan policy,” Khurshid said.
Known for his closeness to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Khurshid claimed the party was “serious” about extending a helping hand to Modi on foreign policy, especially with regard to Pakistan.
“But nothing happened that we ought to have supported him ,” Khurshid said.
Asked to analyse Modi’s approach towards Indo-Pak relations, Khurshid said: “Prime Minister Modi seems to always give an impression that ‘look here, what the Congress could not do in so many years, I could do’.”
“He landed in Pakistan on an unscheduled visit and gave a message that everything is solved. Then came Pathankot. What better testimony of a failure could be?” Khurshid asked.
He also lamented that India’s foreign policy in the last two years could not convince the international community and various countries to be “on our side and support us”.
“Not many countries have come forward supporting us. The foreign policy is not only wanting something for your own country. It is also walking along and taking others. It is also about knowing what other countries want from you. In terms of all these, the foreign policy has been a failure,” Khurshid said.
Asked to comment on the possibility of the Congress’s revival in the near future, he said: “The setback is only temporary and the Congress will get back its position in national politics very soon.”