//Left blames government for giving "dirty tilt" in foreign policy

Left blames government for giving "dirty tilt" in foreign policy

New Delhi | February 27, 2006 3:42:44 PM IST
A senior member from the Left today alleged in the Lok Sabha that the UPA government had given a ”dirty tilt” to India’s non-aligned foreign policy when it voted twice with the West in the IAEA against Iran’s nuclear programme.

Raising a discussion under Rule 193 on the statement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Lower House on India’s vote against Iran, CPI member C K Chandrappan said India should have abstained from the February 4 meeting at Vienna, in expression of the civilisational bond and close relationship that existed with that country for long.

He asked the government to vote in favour of Iran at the next IAEA meeting on March 6 and if this was not possible, it should at least abstain from the voting.

Pointing out that Iran always stood with India when it faced difficult times during the Indo-Pakistan war and Babri Masjid demolition, Mr Chandrappan said by abstaining from the February 4 meeting, India should have shown the people of Iran that ”we are not betraying the faith that they had been bestowing on us”.

Saying that India’s stand was not a surrender, he said India’s argument in favour of its voting with the West was not convincing.

Mr Chandrappan accused US President George W Bush of making unilateral decisions and committing agressions. He criticised the reported statement of Mr Bush that Iran and Syria were ”outlawed regions”.

BJP member B C Khanduri said strategic interest of the nation should come first on such issues.

On the statement of Dr Singh that India’s stand was shaped by security concerns, he said ”clearly we do not wish to have another nuclear weapon state in this region.” He asked why the Prime Minister did not make clear in his statement that Iran was being helped clandestinely by Pakistan.

Maj Gen Khanduri said his objection was only on the issue of how it was handled. ”Proper homework, anticipatory and backdoor diplomacy were not done though sufficient time was available to India.” India should have convinced the US that it could not go too far, while keeping the traditional ties with Iran in mind.

He blamed the government for not consulting the Opposition on the Iran issue.