Bari Masoud | Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI — The Congress on Wednesday refused to comment on UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres’ proposal for a dialogue between India and Pakistan to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir ‘dispute’. The Congress said it is up to to the government of India to react on the proposal.
However, Jammu and Kashmir Panthers Party leader Professor Bhim Singh reacted sharply to the statement saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi should tell the nation what transpired between him and Guterres.
Briefing reporters here, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said it is the duty of the government to make a statement over the issue.
Tewari added, “It is for the government to react to it. It is for them to clarify one way or the other.”
Evading the direct question, Tewari said, “If there is something which is attributed to the Secretary General of the United Nations, then obviously it is for the government to clarify as to what is being said. If it is incorrect, then the government should explain its position clearly and unambiguously.”
In his statement, UN Secretary-General admitted on the floor of the United Nations in New York that he had been meeting Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
“Why do you think I met Prime Minister of Pakistan (Nawaz Sharief) three times and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi two times. For someone accused of doing nothing, it is quite a number of meetings,” Guterres said with a laughter at the United Nations while responding to a question.
Meanwhile, Prof Bhim Singh wondered how Prime Minister Modi could start a dialogue in “camouflage keeping the entire Parliament and his own party MPs in dark”. Singh asked that Prime Minister Modi should let the nation know what kind of dialogue he had with Antonio Guterres and what necessitated such a dialogue with him by keeping Parliament in the dark.”
Taking a harsh stand, Prof Singh condemned Guterres’ statement describing it “highly irresponsible, undesirable and unacceptable proposition”.
He also threw a challenge to PM Modi to prove his commitment to the people of India by initiating a constitutional process to amend “temporary provision of Article 370 without delay, which is a cause for all problems vis-à-vis J&K.”