SHRIMATI S.G. INDIRA (contd.): I would like that the Indian Embassies in all those countries should have a register and they should maintain this register which should have the number of labourers going from India as also their condition over there. They should also keep in touch with those labourers and should take care of them. To put an end to such problems, the Centre should write to the Indian Embassies to maintain such a register.

Now, we have a full-fledged Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry and it is reported that the meeting of all State Ministers would cover discussion on their problems also. This step would be helpful in understanding the problems of Indian migrants and Indian workers who go out from India.

The problem of innocent Indians lodged in foreign jails is yet another issue. All the way, we are reading in newspapers and viewing in TV channels about their problems. Recently, one such case came up. One Sorabjit Singh, from Punjab, is shown as having lodged in Pakistan jail for a long time. But it has also been reported in so many newspapers that our Ministry has not taken any steps for his release. Even his wife had petitioned before our Chairman that our Government was not taking any steps to save her husband. These are the things to be taken care of.

There is one important thing and that is about Kachhativu. In Tamil Nadu, we are having a problem about this. In 1984, an agreement was made with Sri Lanka and at that time, in Tamil Nadu, the DMK party was in power. They have not taken any steps. Our fishermen are now facing so many problems. When they are within the territorial limits of our country, the army of Sri Lanka attacks them even though we are having the full rights upon our territory. In the time of agreement, it has been mentioned that during the festival of Saint Antony Church, the Indian fishermen also can take part in that festival. But, after Kachhativu has been given to Sri Lanka, our fishermen are denied entry and they are not able to enjoy that festival. So, there are long-pending problems. Every time, our Chief Minister writes letter to the Government of India about our fishermen held up in Sri Lanka and for their release. Every month, rather every day, we are facing such situations. Action should be taken in this regard to save the fishermen of Tamil Nadu.

Thank you, Sir. (Ends)

֮ ֻ ӛ (ײָ) : ֮֮ߵ ֳ֬ , ֮֮ߵ ׾ָ ִֵ ֲ ָߵ ֮֟ ֙ ֤õ ֻ ֋ ׻ֵ ֋ ֯ ãן և

00 ׻ֵ : ָ ִ ӿ֮ ......(־֮֬)

֮ ֻ ӛ : ִֵ ִ

00׻ֵ : ,֯ ִֵ ֙օ ӿ֮ ן֯ ײֵ֟ ֲָ , Ϭ֮ ӡ ׻ פ ֮ ֤ ֻ ։օ

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (PROF. P.J. KURIAN): I have already explained it.

SHRI S.S. AHLUWALIA: Sir, let me set the record straight.

֮ ֻ ӛ : ָ ֟ ......(־֮֬)

00 ׻ֵ : , ֓ Ɵ ꅠ ݵ פ ֮ ֯ ֮ ֮ ָ ֤ ֮ ֕ ֳ ֯ י כָ , ָ ֲ כ֛ ֋

֮ ֻ ӛ : ֯ ״ֻ ֵօ

00 ׻ֵ : ״֮֮ ָ ֋ ׻֋ ֤ ֻ ֵ , ֟ ֕ ׯ ֵ , ָ ָ ֵ օ ߱ ֵ ֈ 렠 * ׿֤ ֮ ׻֋ ֺ , ݵ օ ׾ֿ ׾֤ ӡֵֻ ֺ ֮ օ......(־֮֬)

֮ ֻ ӛ : ־֮ ֲ ֮ ָ ָ000 ֓ ߅ ӵ ֟ ָ000 ָ י ߅ ֮ ֻ֟ י ߅ (3B ָ ֿ:)


֮ ֻ ӛ (֟) : ™ߵ ֮֟ ָ ָ ָ ..(־֮֬)..

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: Please sit down. ...((Interruptions)...


* Expunged as ordered by the Chair.

ִָ֮ ֵ : ָ ׾֤ ן ֟ , ִ ..(־֮֬)..

֮ ֻ ӛ : ֮֟ ֙ ָ ֮֮ߵ ֻ ֤ ™ߵ ֮֟ ָ ֻܵ ? ™ߵ ֮֟ ׿ ן ָ ֮ ֮ ֻ֟ ֮ ™ߵ ֮֟ ָ , ֻ י ߅ ָ ֮֟ , ֛ , פ ֵ, ֲ ֯ ָָ , ™ * * ־֮ ֲ ִֵ ׾֤ ӡ 0 ִ֮ ׸ ֣ ִ ִ ֤ ׸ִ ֵ , ׸ִ ֻ ָ ֻֈ߮ Ӥ ֻֈ߮ ֤֟ ו ֱֻ և ֕ ֿ߸ Ӥ ־֮ ֲ ָ֬ ׮ֻ ֵ ָ ׻֋ ָ ׻֋ ֲ ֛ ™ߵ֠ * ־ֻ ..(־֮֬).. ™ߵ ֮֟ ׿ ן ָ ֮ , ָ ֯ ֟ , ֟ ִ֟ ֯ ֮ ..(־֮֬)..

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (PROF. P.J. KURIAN): Please take your seat. ...((Interruptions)... Please sit down. ...((Interruptions)... Please take your seat.

00 ׻ֵ : ݵ ™ߵ ֮֟ ..(־֮֬).. ֲ ֻֈ߮ ָָ ? ..(־֮֬).. ֲ ָָ օ ..(־֮֬).. ֕ ָ ָ߱ ß֮ ֤ * ..(־֮֬).. * ..(־֮֬)..

ֳ֬: ׻ֵ , ߕ ..(־֮֬).. , , ߕ, ߕ ..(־֮֬)..

0 ֵ : ֓և ..(־֮֬)..

00 ׻ֵ : ֯ ֤ ָ߱ ..(־֮֬)..

ֳ֬ : ߕ, ߕօ ..(־֮֬)..


* Expunged as ordered by the Chair.

0 ֵ : ֯ ֤֟ ֕ ָ ֵ ..(־֮֬).. ָ ֟פ ֕ ֵ ..(־֮֬).. ָ פ ..(־֮֬).. ֓և ֯ ? ..(־֮֬).. ׾֤ ן ..(־֮֬)..

֮ ֻ ӛ : , ..(־֮֬).. ֮֮ߵ ׻ֵ ..(־֮֬)..

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (PROF. P.J. KURIAN): Please take your seat. ...((Interruptions)... Please sit down. ...((Interruptions)... Please take your seat.

0 ִ ӛָ : ֓և ..(־֮֬)..

ֳ֬ : , , ߕ ..(־֮֬).. ӛָ , ֯ ևꅠ ..(־֮֬).. ֯ և ..(־֮֬).. ֯ ׮ֵָ 괲ָ , ֯ և ..(־֮֬).. ӛ ߕ..(־֮֬)..

00 ׻ֵ : ִ-ֿ߸ ܵ ӡ ֮ ֮ ׻֋ ֟פ ..(־֮֬)..

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: Mr. Ahluwalia, you do not listen to the Chair. ..(־֮֬).. ߕ, ׻ֵ ߅ ..(־֮֬)..

00 ׻ֵ : יָ, ֵ ׻֋..(־֮֬)..

0 ֵ : ָ, ֲ־ , ™ߵ ֮֟ ִ ׻ֵ ..(־֮֬)..

00 ׻ֵ : ֯ ֟ ..(־֮֬)..

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: Mr. Ahluwalia, you do not do like this. ...((Interruptions)... Please take your seat.

֮ ֻ ӛ : ֟ ֯ ֮ ֙ ֋ ..(־֮֬).. ׻ֵ ֮ ֙ ֟ ..(־֮֬)..

ֳ֬ : ӛ , ֯ ֛ ׮ֵָ ָ ֯ ֲꌙ ָ ֟ ו֋ ..(־֮֬)..No no. ֯ ך ..(־֮֬).. Please do not bring in personal matters here. ...((Interruptions)...

0 ִ ӛָ : ..(־֮֬)..

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (PROF. P.J. KURIAN): , ֯ և ..(־֮֬).. What the Leader of the Opposition said was only a political point. He did not make any personal remark. ...((Interruptions)... I was listening that. ...((Interruptions)... It was a political point. You can answer it politically. ...((Interruptions)... Do not mention names. ...((Interruptions)... Do not make personal allegations. ...((Interruptions)... That is not correct. ...((Interruptions)... You stick to the subject. ...((Interruptions)... Okay. ...((Interruptions)...

Mr. Ahluwalia, you have to address the Chair. ...((Interruptions)...Mr. Mandal, please address the Chair.

֮ ֻ ӛ : ֻ߮֟ ֵԤ ׾ ֮ ֻ ׌ ֙ ֓ ֮־ָ ׾ָ ߅ ֻ , ֮ ֟ ..(־֮֬)..

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: It was only a political point. It was nothing personal. ...((Interruptions)... One second. ...((Interruptions)...

֮ ֻ ӛ : ָ ֵ ָ ֮ ֻ ..(־֮֬)..

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN :Let me make it clear that I listened that speech. ...((Interruptions)... It was a political point. ...((Interruptions)...It was a political point.

֮ ֻ ӛ : , ֲ ֙ ָ , ָ י ןָ օ ןָ , ֱ ֤ פֵ ֙ ָ פ פ ׿ ן ָ ֮ , ֕׸ , ֮ , ָ ֙ ֻ߅ ׻֋ , ָ ֮ ֕׸

(3 ָ ָ)

ֳ֬ (0 ..׸֮) : ֯ ߛ ׸ Please Go ahead.

֮ ֻ ӛ : , ָ ֓ , ׻֋..(־֮֬)..

ֳ֬ : ֯ ֟ ״֮֙ ֟ ֋ ֯ ӓ ״֮֙ ֟ ו֋

֮ ֻ ӛ : ׻ֵ ֟ , ָ ײָ ֋ ..(־֮֬)..

ֳ֬ : ֲ ָ ֟ ו֋ ֯ և ֟ ״֮֙ ֟ , ӓ ״֮֙ ו֋ ֟ ׸

֮ ֻ ӛ : , ֟ ָ ׾֤ ן ָ ֤ ֓ , ָ Ը֮ ִֻ ָ ָ ָ ֲ ׸ ™ן ֋ ָ ן ֵ֮ ֲָ ֵ - Ϭ֮ ӡ ™ן - ֲ ֻ , ָ ֓ ו֮ ײ֮ ָ ֓ , ײ֮ ָ ֮ ֟ օ ֲ ־ ֻ Ϭ֮ ӡ , ֲ ׿ ן ָ֬׿ֻ ߅ ׿ ן ָ֬׿ֻ ӓֿ߻ ֨ӟ ן֯ ß֟ ֨ӟ - ִ ™ ׿ ן ֮ ָ ֻ ֤ ָ ֻ ֤ ֨ӟ , ֤ ן , ־׸ , ־׸ - ֣ԣ օ ׮ָ֟ ָ֬ ָ ӓֿ߻ ָ ֨ӟ , ָ ֤ ֺ , ֤ ֕ ֤ š״ ׸ãן , ָ ֤ ׸ãן֮֕ , ֣ԣ ִֵ ߵ ׮ֵ ߅ ߵ ׮ֵ , ָ ׮ֵ , ֛ ֻ , ך - ֣ԣ օ ֓ ߵ, ָֻ߯ Ù ֮ ™ ֻ֯ ִ ָ֕ ׸ ִֻ ׌ֻֿ , ֟ ׸ ִ֮ ָ ִ֯ , ִ ֵԾ , ֟ ָ ™ ־׸ , ָ ־Գ״ ־׸ , ָ ߴ ־׸ ׿ ן ָ ָ֬ , ׮ֵ֤ , ֨ӟ ָ֬ ָ , ָ ߕ ֤ ֟ ׾ ן ׾ ӡ ִֵ - ָ ׿ ן ןֲ֨ ֛ , ו ֓ ־֮ ֲ , ָ ָ , ׮ֵ ֨ӟ , ָ ֛ ™ , ߕ - ֻ ֓ ־֮ ֲ , ݵ ֟ ֻ ֓ - ׿ ן ִֻ ֤֟ ָ ׻֋ ֲ ֛ ָ ־Գ״ ֣, ™ߵ ֣, ״ ֌׸ ֣ ӟָ™ߵ ֤֟ ߸ Կ , ָ ֲ ֛ ־ֻ ֻ ֕ ߸ ֵ߅ ֕ ߸ ׻֋ ™ ס ã ֲ֕ ֻ ֜ ָ ߕ , democratisation - ס ָ֬׿ֻ ֮ - ֕ ߸ ֕ ߸ ԅ ָ ָָ ߅ ӡ ָ ֛ ִֵ - ִ ֟פ ָָ ß֮ - ֱ֟ ָ ״ֻ ӵ㌟ ֵ֮ ֵ, ֤ ß֮ ֋ ָ ß֮ ӡ ֻ , ӡ ֆ ß֮ ӡ ֆ, օ ִ , և ָ , ә ָ, ֚ӛ ָ ֵ֮ ֋ (3 ָ ֿ:)


֮ ֻ ӛ (֟) : ֻ ֮֕ן ֆ ֵ֮ פ ָ Ϭִ֮ӡ ӵ㌟ ֵ֮ ֵ ֻ ׸ãן ֤ ֻ ׸ãן ֤, ӡ : ֯ , ֻ ãן , ִ ӡ ֯ ӳ־֮ פև ֟ ָ ָָ ֮ ׿ ן ֮ ϳ־ , ֮ ϵ , ָ, ß ָ, ϳ־ָ ָ ßֻ , ׻֋ ֲ ֕ ߸ , ֟ և ֤֟ , ß֮ ߸ ֮ , ֻ ֮ ß Ӥ ֕ ߸ ֱֻ ֵԾ ָ , ß֮ ֣ , ׸ ֣ , ߮ ֣ , ו ֣ , ָ ֛ ֻ ӡ և, ӡ : ֯ , ׻֋ ָ ָ ָָ ִֻ ϳ־ָ ֮ ֟ ֣ ֮ ֟ ִ֯ (ִ֯)

DR. CHANDAN MITRA (NOMINATED): Thank you very much, Sir.

A lot of points have already been made. So, I do not want to go over all of them. I would like to approach this debate from two aspects. The first one is the larger issue, the macro situation, which we have to take into account. The larger point where I would like to raise a critical reference is the seeming absence of transparency in the dealings of Foreign Policy. Right from the beginning, in India, there has been a great tradition of consensus on Foreign Policy issues. From the time of our first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, right down to even now, there is a consensus and despite internal differences, despite the fact that successive political parties have come to power, there is a certain continuity on Foreign Policy issues that has been maintained in this country. This continuity has been maintained because the successive Governments have been transparent about the Foreign Policy. There have been open and frank discussions on the Foreign Policy and, on the basis of contributions made by all political parties as well as thinkers and experts, certain consensus has evolved. I am not suggesting that there has been a complete deviation from transparency. But, there are slightly worrying things that have happened in the recent past that lead us to be concerned about whether this consensus is breaking down as a result of this lack of transparency. The Indo-US Nuclear Deal is one such instance. You shall recall, Sir, in this House, many demands have been made, from time to time, that the Government should come upfront and discuss all the aspects of our Foreign Policy, particularly what is happening on the Indo-US front. We have been getting only official statements. Many things are being reported in the media. But, these are not being fully clarified. The House has not been fully taken into confidence. All-Party meetings have not been called and the kind of continuity and transparency we should have seen in Foreign Policy has not been happening. And, this, I think, is a matter of some concern to which I would seek the Government's attention to try and redress that. I feel, while welcoming what has been achieved in our relations with the USA, which are better than ever before, there is, again, a continuity in this policy. I think, an adequate cost-benefit analysis of our Nuclear Deal with the USA has not been fully done as yet. I think, it was the responsibility of the Government to take the political parties into confidence, the House into confidence and be upfront on a certain number of issues. What have we lost and what have we gained? Very clearly, it is apparent that our claim to a Permanent Seat in the UN Security Council is now out of question.



DR. CHANDAN MITRA (CONTD.): This has been clearly and categorically rejected by the United States, which by exercising its authority as a sole Super Power in the world today, has ruled this out. On the floor of the House, I do recall statements by the Prime Minister and the then External Affairs Minister, where this point was made that India was very serious and seriously pursing for the United Nations Security Council's permanent seat. The then External Affairs Minister, Mr. Natwar Singh had categorically said, "We will not accept any status other than full veto power membership in the United Nations Security Council." What happened to that? I would like to ask the Government, what is the status? Is this something that we have given up in the give and take of the nuclear deal? Is it something that we have abandoned the pursuit? That should be clarified. But, I am afraid, this has never been clarified. Statements are coming from Washington. But we don't know how the Government is proposing to pursue this matter.

Sir, another macro observation I would like to make is that, time and again, it appears that we are doing things quietly and furtively. Instead of being assertive and categorical about our Foreign Policy issues, which some other countries, like, Russia and China, which are also, nowadays, to a great extent, browbeaten by the United States. But they have been able to follow an independent Foreign Policy and make their position absolutely clear. But, as this was pointed out during the IAEA vote issue, was India hoping that it does not come to a vote? Why should that be? We should be clear-cut and categorical in our policy as we have always been. But this is for the first time when I find a certain opposition where we are trying to avoid taking a decision and being categorical about our Foreign Policy. It could be the pressure of the internal politics. But, I believe that this kind of furtiveness in Foreign Policy matters lowers the status and dignity of a country. (Time-bell) If we are the fourth largest economy of the world, we have to behave like the fourth-largest country. The power in the world today is not just military power, economic power is also there. And, there is no doubt that India is a major economic power. I will take just two more minutes to conclude, Sir. It should be commensurate with our economic strength. But we don't see evidence of that. We seem to believe in doing things quietly and behind peoples' back. I think, it is not proper. And, I would urge the Government to be upfront about this issue.


DR. CHANDAN MITRA: Sir, just one more minute. The issue of Nepal was just mentioned, and it was mentioned earlier also.


DR. CHANDAN MITRA: I think, again, there is a lack of clarity on this, which the Government has to clarify and be clear. It is very regrettable that some outlaws of Nepal, those who believe in an armed revolution and are trying to overthrow the Government of Nepal are fleeting in and out of India, and are being hosted by the Government. They are coming to India and, with the Government of India, informally trying to broker some arrangement. Given the kind of situation in the country, the internal security sets and the naxalite problem, any hobnobbing with the Maoists of Nepal, I think, is a very, very dangerous policy, and, on this, the Government needs to come absolutely clear.

Then, I would like to say that the Bangladesh Prime Minister, Mrs. Khaleda Zia, is coming to Delhi shortly. Bangladesh has become an even more serious problem than Pakistan. I would like to know from the Government what the Government is going to do on the issue of Bangladesh. How are we going to contain? Are we going to be dependent on the FBI and the United State's authorities to tell Bangladesh what to do? It is our neighbour, and with the terrorist camps multiplying there, what policy we propose to take on the issue of terrorism in Bangladesh.

Finally, Sir, it is most regrettable that the excellent diplomatic and military relations we established with Israel, seem to have given up completely. Israel is the second-largest supplier of defence equipments to India, today. And, the excellent arrangement and policy had been struck by the previous Government. And, starting with Mr. Narsimha Rao's Government, which accorded diplomatic status to Israel and diplomatic relations were established. But over the last few years, last two years in particular, we have systematically downgraded our relationship with Israel, and we did not even send a message of congratulations when Israel pulled back from the West Bank. Sir, I would urge that these are matters that need to be rectified, and urge the Government to look into all this, and devise a proper upfront policy befitting India's status as an aspiring Big Power. (Ends)

(Followed by 3f -- VP)



(SHRI ANAND SHARMA): Thank you Mr. Vice-Chairman, Sir. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI S.S. AHLUWALIA: Is he replying or intervening?

SHRI ANAND SHARMA: I am only intervening. The Prime Minister will reply. ...(Interruptions)...

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (PROF. P.J. KURIAN): He is intervening. (Interruptions). He is not replying. There are other speakers.

SHRI S.S. AHLUWALIA: Till what time it will go on?

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: As the House decides. I am not going to decide it. The House is the supreme authority. Mr. Ahluwalia, if you want to close it, it is up to you. ...(Interruptions)... Mr. Anand Sharma.

SHRI ANAND SHARMA: Reply will be by the Prime Minister. You have heard it clearly. I am merely intervening with the permission of the Chair. Sir, the House is discussing the Annual Report of the Ministry of External Affairs and the functioning of the Ministry. To begin with, I would like to say that the conduct of India's foreign policy has been consistent with our stated goals as a nation state. This policy, which has always had the backing of a broad national consensus, has kept India's sovereign interest uppermost in its mind. The policy is not only independent as far as decision-making is concerned, but it takes into consideration the regional and the global situation.

Mr. Vice-Chairman, Sir, during the course of this debate, the hon. Leader of the Opposition, and my esteemed friend, Shri Sitaram Yechury, had raised certain points, so did Mr. Shahid Siddiqui and some other hon. Members, including Dr. Chandan Mitra. Sir, there was reference to what is our policy with regard to India's neighbours, the Indo-U.S. relations, the understanding which has been reached with the United States of America and also whether there is any departure or deviation from the policy which has been pursued by India, consistently since its independence.

Sir, as far as India's relation with her neighbours are concerned, it has been India's endeavour to ensure that there is a better understanding. We had the SAARC Summit for which the Prime Minister had gone to Dhaka. India's efforts are to ensure that this region becomes a region of peace and development. India being a major country of this region plays a pro-active role, a constructive role in ensuring that South Asia; this region as such can progress. All countries of this region not only India, but Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka all have similar problems when it comes to alleviation of poverty, when it comes to development. And if this region becomes a region of peace where there is a free movement of people, there is free trade and understanding, then, it will be not only in the interest of our region but of the world.

Sir, I will not go into the specific details except to make two references one to Bangladesh which is there in the Report and which Mr. Yechury had raised. Yes, it is a shared national concern when there is a spurt of violent extremism, which has linkages with other countries which have been responsible for nurturing and promoting cross border terrorism. Sir, new sources, new bases emerge, that is our concern. It would not be correct to assume that the Government of India is oblivious to this threat. It has been mentioned in the Report. It has been discussed in the various committee meetings. It has been raised in this House, if I recall correctly, where certain questions had come up... (Continued by 3G)


SHRI ANAND SHARMA (CONTD.): ...and, the Government has stated very clearly that we have not only conveyed our concerns, but whatever measures can be taken by the authorities, which need not be detailed, are being taken in this regard. Nepal is another area. The developments in Nepal, the intervention by the King and suspension of the Government, Parliament, democracy, these are the internal dynamics of that country, but those have been engaging India's attention and matters of, again, concern to us. It has been our endeavour, by meaningfully engaging all sides concerned, to ensure that the democratic process is restored. We are clear in this regard that there is no other solution. We talk of restoration of normalcy, that the political processes begin, the political parties are involved so that the territory, the space, which should belong in any democracy to the political parties, is not taken away by forces or elements who do not believe in that. Sir, the hon. Leader of the Opposition had talked about our relations with Pakistan. There was a suggestion that we should stop referring to Pakistan or Pakistan- sponsored violence or terrorism, especially, when we talk to the United States of America. He felt that that would be contrary to India's growing profile, and, when we talk of this issue, it is a betrayal of lack of strength or lack of self-confidence. Sir, I am afraid, I am not in agreement with this proposition. Whether it is this Government or the previous Government, when it comes to India's security concerns, this issue has been raised. The collective sense of this House, the other House, of the Indian Parliament, has always been one in this regard when it comes to rejection of terrorism sponsored from outside India. And, we cannot say that if we talk to the United States of America or if India talks of a comprehensive convention against terrorism, we are in any way betraying lack of confidence. This country has its own strength, this country has self-confidence in dealing with this menace. In fact, we are the major victims of terrorism. When we look at what has happened in the world in the last two decades, it is India which has been at the receiving end, but, at the same time, we do share if there are similar incidents in other major regions of the world. That is why we are talking of a comprehensive convention through the United Nations, when all the member-States of the United Nations talk about. But talking to United States of America on this issue and other issue, I fail to understand, how it, again, means a departure. Sitaram Yechuryji had referred to that, and so, did the hon. Leader of the Opposition, about India's growing engagement with the United States of America; and, understandings which have been reached. Sir, we have discussed Indo US relations on Saturday. The Prime Minister had made it clear, not only then but on previous occasions, that, yes, it is a growing bilateral engagement which is multi-dimensional. The United States of America is one of the important countries of this world. Nobody can deny that. Our policy has never been that independent Foreign Policy is of independent decision-making, but we also have to take into cognisance the existing realities and meaningfully engage all the major powers of the world. When we say all the major powers, it does not mean exclusion of the United States of America. So, we have talked to the US, especially, about the energy cooperation, cooperation in space, cooperation in science and technology, etc. for which a bi-nation commission is being set up. These are important areas. (Contd. by 3H/PB)


SHRI ANAND SHARMA (CONTD.): India has been denied access to new technologies, cutting-edge technologies over three decades, and our nuclear establishment had worked, our scientists had worked in a regime of denial in isolation, and they have made this country very proud by accomplishing what they have.


Now, entering into newer agreements or arrangements does not mean surrendering those achievements, in any manner, or diluting for future, what our independent research and work has evolved. But if we gain access, access to fuel and technology, and India becomes a partner, like India has been invited now for the ITER project, for the Future GEN projects, what does that mean? The unlocking of the nuclear suppliers' group, which was discussed in detail the other day, does not impinge upon India's sovereign interests. India has not compromised when it comes to those areas where our strategic interests are involved, and I shall not expand on it because this was discussed in detail. But the decision, which facility remains civilian and which is strategic, that determination is India's, future determination will be of this country. If we are going to have an arrangement with the IAEA, it would be for one reason, Sir, because we never were party to the previous regimes. India is a non-signatory to the NPT, and I remember my friend, Sitaram Yechury's words, that 'when we are talking of the Indo-US relations, then there has to be a convergence of interests in all fields, and also that realism means idealism and realism, and when it comes to realism, then it has to be 'engaging', but not 'succumbing'.' I would like to assure him that there is no question of India's succumbing; engaging 'yes'; engaging 'meaningfully'; engaging in a constructive manner; engaging in all fields; but not in any manner succumbing to any pressure. If there is any such impression or apprehension, we would like to dispel that. If you look at what was stated by the Prime Minister on three occasions in this House and even while replying to the discussion last Saturday, it should be abundantly clear that whatever has been agreed to has been after very careful negotiations which has the endorsement and the backing of a scientific community and the nuclear establishment. Sir, in this context, I may say, three specific matters were raised. One was about the UN democracy fund for which India has made a major contribution, significant contribution. But that is under the aegis of the United Nations. That should not be linked to other statements which have been made by the leaders of the United States of America with regard to their views on certain countries and the question of regime change which was raised. The Prime Minister and the Government had made it abundantly clear, 'we do not share that; we do not subscribe to that; we do not endorse that.' So, that was settled once for all. There should not be any doubt on that count.

Again, Sir, one issue came whether there is any tilt. It was very clear from the speeches of both, the Leader of Opposition and Yechuryji, and other friends, where the tilt is. (Contd. by 3j/SKC)


SHRI ANAND SHARMA (CONTD.): First of all, when the United States of America, which is a major power, willingly engages India, enters into certain arrangements or agreements in strategic fields, why should it be misread as a tilt? It is an acknowledgement -- acknowledgement of India's achievements, acknowledgement, again, of India's prowess, India's credibility as a responsible, mature nation State, which has played a major role in the Comity of Nations. At the same time, it is recognition of the fact that India should not be kept away from major countries when it comes to the new generation of technology. So, that is how it should be viewed.

A question was put whether it should be a cause of celebration. We are not talking of celebrations when big nation states are involved. We say that we are also big and India's growing profile, India's growing strength, is being recognised now, whether it is by the United States of America, by France and other major countries. Well, for some it could be a cause for celebration, but Governments don't celebrate. Governments make a statement about what they have been able to achieve, what policies they have been able to pursue. But surely, it cannot be a cause for national mourning also! These agreements or understandings, which we have reached, have been endorsed by major countries, by the United Kingdom, by France, by Germany and also by the IAEA. That needs to be understood and accepted by all of us.

We may have our different perceptions, but Sir, when it comes to foreign policy or national security concerns, we have always pursued, bipartisan policies. There are no partisan politics involved in the formulation of foreign policy. Sincere efforts have made by the Government, especially the Congress-led UPA Government. It was the Congress Party, since the time of our Independence, which had formulated the nation's foreign policy, a policy that was independent and in India's interest. We tried to evolve a broad national consensus, through repeated discussions on all issues, whether it be the Iran issue, or the Indo-US relations. Now, again, it is indicative of the Government's commitment to inform, through the House, the country and also, to have a consensus, a broad consensus, as an endorsement of what we are doing, by sharing openly, in a transparent manner, what the Government is seeking to do.

One important issue that was raised was on multipolarity issues. It was said that bipolarity had collapsed with the collapse of the Soviet Union, that it was a unipolar world, and whether we are accepting the concept of unipolarity. Sir, I would like to make it abundantly clear that we have never talked of unipolarity as an acceptable order. We have been engaging major powers of the world. If we have this new understanding in strategic areas with the United States of America, we are also mindful of the reciprocity, which is inbuilt, through steps which this country has to take, and the steps which the US has to take. But we have a strategic, close and very special relationship with Russia. We have a strategic relationship with France and with the United Kingdom. We have entered into a strategic relationship and dialogue with the EU. We have an ongoing dialogue with the ASEAN. We have a new policy thrust when we are talking of the Look-East policy. Then, we have the IBSA initiative. Reference was made that it was Euro-centric and America-centric, and that we are totally ignoring Africa and Latin America. That was a point raised by hon. Member, Shri Shahid Siddiqui. I am afraid that again, it is a misperception. That is not correct. We have an important initiative, that is, the IBSA initiative, which is a trilateral initiative between India, Brazil and South Africa. Now, nobody can say that Brazil and South Africa are countries which do not belong to the same thought process on multi-lateral issues to which India adheres too. Why I mentioned all these is that these are indicative of our commitment to ensure a balance, to ensure that there is multipolarity reflected in our approaches. So, there is no question of any tilt. Why is it that only in this context this accusation comes? I would say, it is unfair.

(Contd. by 3K/GSP)


SHRI ANAND SHARMA (CONTD.): Mr. Deputy Chairman, Sir, it is unfair because it is not only the political leadership which gives the guidance but our scientists, our diplomats, the official teams comprised of the officials are also engaged in these negotiations to finalise certain agreements or understandings, and, all of them have India's interests close to their hearts. When we make a sweeping indictment that interests have been forsaken or compromised, we are casting an aspersion on the commitment, on the sincerity of all of them. We can speak, the hon. Prime Minister can speak, the Members can speak here in the House but those who are involved in the negotiations, the officials, our senior civil servants who also serve the country with dedication and do lot of hard work, they cannot stand up and speak for themselves. Sir, I would request Shri Yechuryji and this House to please never have any doubts about them and to please be assured that when India negotiates, through its political leadership alongwith the establishment, they have the interest of India closest to their heart and that interest is never compromised. (Interruptions)

SHRI SITARAM YECHURY: At no point of time, I meant this. Please don't misunderstand me. Do we question the integrity or the commitment of the people engaged in negotiations? Never. In fact, we hold them in high respect, and, we think, they are as much patriots as we are. It is not the questioning of integrity, it is the questioning of infallibility, and, infallibility is something that will be questioned and integrity is not to be questioned. And, that, I think, should be the yardstick by which we should go. Even the most committed patriots can commit mistakes, and, if they commit mistakes, that must be corrected. That is all what I want to say.

SHRI ANAND SHARMA: Sir, while thanking him, I would like to say that I never said that there was any insinuation on the part of Shri Sitaram Yechury. What I was saying is that when some statements are made or when there are reports in the media, an impression is being created. Sir, what happens is that there is a running commentary that goes on and it's not only in this House. So, we have to be mindful of the political discussion and debate that is outside in the civil society. When you have informed or inadequately informed comments in the electronic media running 24 hours, or, if something appears in the print media, people tend to then believe them. What I have said is that if there is a consistent campaign or charge, which is unfounded, it is important to have the clarification, and, that is why, you will appreciate that by repeatedly discussing every matter, this is how the fallibility is checked.

Once you are a democracy, once you are under constant scrutiny of the Parliament, you cannot trip. And, in a parliamentary form of Government, there is no question of a situation arising where major decisions, policy decisions are made with regard to our international relations or our national security concerns, would not have the discussion, the scrutiny of the Parliament, this House and the Lok Sabha. Also, eventually only that policy is pursued which has the broad national consensus.

Sir, I think that I have been able to respond to many of the things that have been raised by the hon. Leader of the Opposition and my esteemed colleague Shri Sitaram Yechuryji. I would, once again, like to reiterate that there is no question of succumbing. Sir, as you were pointing out, with regard to our National Common Minimum Programme engaging all countries, I would like to mention that this is exactly what we are doing. I pointed out about our engagements with Africa, with Latin America, which was your concern. This engagement and growing of relations and understanding between India and America are not at the expense of other countries, which we mentioned very clearly in the NCMP. So, that is not the case.

Lastly, Sir, one question has been raised by many hon. Members regarding the presence of Nepal's Maoists in India for talks.

(Contd. by SK-3L)


SHRI ANAND SHARMA (CONTD.): I refer to Nepal by saying that developments there are an area of concern, irrespective of the fact that there were internal dynamics. We have been engaged. We have been trying to reason to be persuasive. And, we believe that the democratic path is the only path. The political leaders from Nepal have been visiting India during the last few months. They have been doing it for decades in the past also. As Yechuryji would recall, we have been meeting with the political leaders coming from there as representatives of our respective political parties. And, Sir, the political leaders of Nepal have been holding periodic consultations also with the Maoist leadership, which is again their bilateral arrangement when the different political parties of Nepal, the Nepali Congress factions and Maoists have been talking to each other. There is no reason why they should not be. It is a good development if they are talking to each other and if they all are thinking in terms of eventually some democratic process. We are not privy to what they are discussing. We have taken a broad policy position. But, we have not invited any leader. The hon. Leader of Opposition is not here. He has raised this point specifically. There are one or two other hon. Members who raised it. We have not invited any leader for any such consultations, as far as India is concerned.

DR. CHANDAN MITRA: Sir, I would like to ask one question, if he yields.

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: No, no, please. Later on.

DR. CHANDAN MITRA: Sir, on the question of Nepal, I would like to ask something from the hon. Minister. I agree that the Government of India may not have invited, but the fact is that the Maoists Communist Party of Nepal has issued a statement saying that it is their goal to overthrow the Nepal Government by the force of arms. And, after the meeting that they had with their counterparts in India, a joint statement was issued, saying that the two Maoist groups would cooperate for the armed overthrow of the Government in Nepal and in India. In view of this kind of statement, that is emanating, how can the Government of India countenance any kind of dialogue that is going on, on Indian soil to facilitate settlement in Nepal?

SHRI ANAND SHARMA: First of all, Sir, I was referring to the visits of the political leaders. Those political leaders have belonged to the democratic movements who had contested elections, who were in the successive Governments in Nepal. And, ever since the suspension of democracy, there have been various delegations which have come and those delegations comprise of respected, recognised, established, political leaders of Nepal. They have a viewpoint of their own. It is their independent decision to engage the Maoists. So, the talks will be between them, the contacts are between them. We are not facilitating, nor are we invited. I was clarifying that. Secondly, Chandan Mitraji, what you have raised is relevant. Such statements have been made; one is the 12-point programme which has been reached between the political parties and the Maoists. Now, it is again their own decision. And, if they want to forsake the path of violence, it is up to them. And, it would be a good development. It augurs well, if all concerned parties accept the path of democracy and participate. It should always be encouraged. But, when we talk of violence, which you have referred to, we have been very clear whether such elements are operating within India, or, those who act outside, as per the principles laid down in our Constitution and law, as a Constitutional democracy, India can never accept, India can never condone any statement which is of political violence and threat. And, within our country, where such forces are active, our establishment, our administration, our State Governments, our intelligence agencies and security agencies have been actively working. So, there is no question of any compromise or any condonation, let me assure you. Sir, towards the end, I will only say that this discussion on the functioning of the Ministry has been an informed discussion and we take note of many observations. Many of them are very pertinent and relevant which have been made by our hon. colleagues and Members. And, Sir, to conclude, once again, I would assure that India pursues a policy which is India's policy. (Contd. By YSR-3m)


SHRI ANAND SHARMA (CONTD.): We take decisions on matters and on issues on merit. It is our independent judgement in conformity with our policy, in conformity with India's interest. Thank you, Sir. (Ends)

SHRI TARLOCHAN SINGH (HARYANA): Thank you, Mr. Deputy Chairman, Sir, I am here to praise the role of the Prime Minister who has brought so much honour and respect to our country by his achievements in the Foreign Policy. Up-till now, Dr. Manmohan Singh was known as 'Economic Wizard,' but now his name is at the same level in the diplomatic world. For he has done in the field of Foreign Affairs, even an ordinary Indian is all praise for him. But we cannot forget that the policy laid by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Prime Minister was the base for what all India is now achieving. Nobody can forget that Shri Vajpayee took a historic step by taking a bus to Lahore which was unparalleled in the history of diplomatic relations. All his actions at that time opening India's arms to the whole world were hailed everywhere. Today, we feel that India should go on succeeding in this field. Sir, I want to raise certain important issues concerning the Ministry of External Affairs, so that in this debate they should also be noted for certain improvement.

Sir, my first point is that all our Embassies abroad should be friendly Embassies not only to foreigners but also to Indians settled abroad. Lot of complaints come regarding how people are being treated, and how much time they stay when they go there. So, there should be improvement in the working of our Embassies.

Secondly, Sir, since India's policy is good, lot of tourists are coming, and the staff meant for issuing visa, they say, is less. The Ministry of External Affairs should strengthen its visa staff, so that people get visa at an early date.

Sir, lot of Indians without passport and without legal papers are settled in many countries. They are seeking somehow the citizenship of those countries. Recently, Spain and Italy invited applications from the people to give them citizenship. But they could not apply, because the Embassy was to give them some identification chip. And that identification chip required that people should establish their identity within their own states. But I am sorry to say that our Embassy totally failed to help those Indians there in Europe whereas Pakistan took advantage of that and thousands and thousands of people have been given citizenship in those countries, and here our Embassy totally shunned those people and did not give them any advice. I request, Sir, that the MEA should issue some circular that if all Indians there try to get citizenship, our people should help them. There should be some column in their Annual Report showing how many people with their help have been able to get citizenship in those countries. That will be of great help.

Sir, I want to raise a serious issue. There are a lot of Indians who are issued visas from abroad. But when they come at our airports, they are sent back because our computers here do not find their names. I have a list with me. It shows that 86 people having valid visas, issued by our Embassies abroad, were sent back from our airports. Now you can imagine the fate of those people. They spent money when they came back and suffered harassment. Last year, 79 people were sent back. What was their fault? When they come with valid visas, the Ministry should have some accommodation there, so that, at least, they stay there in the night and next day you check with your Ministry whether the valid visa is there or not. (Contd. by VKK/3N)