India News

Swaraj puts record straight: ‘PM sought my opinion before visiting Lahore’

Swaraj puts record straight: ‘PM sought my opinion before visiting Lahore’

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday rejected Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s remarks that even the Foreign Minister was unaware of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sudden de-tour to Lahore. In an exclusive to ANI, Swaraj said “I would like to correct the record.

After a conversation with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister Modi called me, seeking my opinion on his visit to Lahore.” “I told him that it would be an ‘out of the box initiative’ and he should go to Lahore, said Swaraj adding, “This was a novel initiative, which got appreciated in the country.”

Swaraj said that since she was not present in the lower house today, she could not respond to Gandhi’s statements.” “If I would have been present there, I would have responded to his statement. I reached home and saw his speech, which is not correct,” she added.

The Minister pointed out that after receiving the Prime Minister here; she had a conversation with him for about 10 minutes at the airport where she apprised him of the positive response that the nation has given to his visit.

Taking the floor in the Lok Sabha during the debate on the motion of thanks to President’s address, Congress vice president Gandhi, accused Prime Minister Modi of ‘single handedly destroying’ six years of UPA work to put Pakistan into a small cage after 26/11 terror strikes, by visiting Pakistan.

He assailed the Prime Minister with “releasing” Pakistan from a “cage” for which the UPA had invested thousands of hours of hard work and all-round consultations.

“The work done by the UPA has made us all proud. We conducted Panchayat elections, created self-help groups, which generated employment. We had broken the back of insurgency in Kashmir completely.

“And what did the Prime Minister do? He decided to have a cup of tea with Nawaz Sharif without any vision. He decided to take a detour to Pakistan. He did not bother to consult anyone…the people in intelligence, the diplomats.

Perhaps he did not even talk to (External Affairs Minister) Sushmaji (Swaraj). Only his opinion matters. He single handedly destroyed the six years of work done by the UPA,” Gandhi said.