Monday, 10 December 2018

Pakistan claims Rafale is why India called off key meet

NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD: Pakistan jumped into the Rafale deal controversy by hinting at that being the “real” reason for the Modi administration to cancel the meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session.

Speaking exclusively to India Today TV, Pakistan’s information and broadcasting minister Fawad Hussein Chaudhry said the Rafale deal is PM Narendra Modi’s “Panama”, referring to the corruption investigation that culminated in former Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif’s imprisonment.

“We think that Rafale is Panama of Prime Minister Modi,” he said. The Pakistan cabinet minister said: “My reading is that PM Modi is in great trouble on the Rafale deal and he is just trying to divert the attention of the people of India from this graft deal to external issues and trying to make a mountain of a mole. The MEA’s reasons for cancellation of meeting were ridiculous and trivial.”

Diving into this domestic controversy in India, the Pakistan minister had tweeted, tagging Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s tweets and alluding to “diversionary” tactics to shift focus from the corruption charges to India-Pakistan.

This raised a furore in India on Monday with the BJP accusing the Congress party of getting support from Pakistan.

Rejecting allegations of the ruling BJP, he asked India to fight its own battles. “Our only problem is that in order to divert the attention of the people of India, they are just shooting from Pakistan’s shoulders. Apni jung khud lado (fight your own battles)… If the BJP and PM Modi would have fought their war inside India, we would not have had a problem,” he said.

Last week, New Delhi cancelled a meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan – a proposal that came from Pakistan PM Imran Khan.

That happened hours after three cops were abducted and killed in Kashmir’s Shopian.

Chaudhry rebutted the allegations saying the forward movement in India-Pakistan relations have fallen victim to India’s domestic politics and accused the Modi administration of not caring about the people.

“But the problem is that to shift their controversy, they are trying to divert the attention of the people in the name of Pakistan. It shows that for them politics is more important than the people. You cannot take such things so casually. Just for want of some diversion, you have put the entire region in turmoil,” he said.

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