Srinagar: Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Saifuddin Soz has said that former India Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s perception on neighbourhood could be a guiding principle for PM Modi to establish meaningful and friendly relations with Pakistan and other countries.
In a statement Soz said, “When in a written reply, the other day, MoS V. Murleedharan told the Lok Sabha that onus was on Islamabad to create an atmosphere for a conducive atmosphere for dialogue, I could imagine that the present Govt. had moved quite a far away from the Vajpayee’s path of conciliation, reconciliation and cordiality.”
He added that Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whom he knew closely, was decidedly born out of the RSS womb, yet his approach to deal with neighbhourhood was uniquely pragmatic and workable.
“It was certainly a tribute to Vajpayee’s farsightedness that soon after Kargil war in October 1999 for which the then Pak PM Nawaz Sharief had held General Musharraf squarely responsible, it was possible for Vajpayee to sign Lahore Declaration with Nawaz Sharief on 21 February 1999. It was really miraculous,” Soz said.
He mentioned that the present day rulers of India should know that Vajpayee had realized that since neighbourhood can’t be changed, ways had to be found to promote cordiality in the neighbourhood.
“It was on 8th June, 2003 that Vajpayee had told the Lok Sabha that friendship with Pakistan had to be maintained as friends can be changed but not neighbours. Vajpayee maintained the spirit of his vision when he visited Pakistan on 6th January, 2004 and thereafter. I have no idea as to who can remind PM Modi that the only way forward happened to be the same as adopted by the Vajpayee whose consistency on that path happens to be the guiding principle for PM Modi.”