Advani Slams Nehru's Foreign Policy on China, Pak

New Delhi
Advani Slams Nehru's Foreign Policy on China, Pak
Against the backdrop of BJP opposing resumption of dialogue with Pakistan, senior party leader L K Advani today said terrorism and Kashmir are "festering sores to this day" due to "mishandling" of Pakistan by Jawaharlal Nehru.

"His (Nehru's) mishandling of Pakistan has left terrorism and Kashmir as two festering sores for our body politic right up to this day," Advani wrote in his blog.

His comments came a day after the BJP asked the government not to go ahead with the Foreign Secretary-level talks slated to be held here on February 25, saying "terror and talks" cannot go together and "not talking" is also a diplomatic option.

Advani quotes extensively from a recent work of renowned editor Fareed Zakaria in his blog to accuse Nehru of having pursued a weak foreign policy towards Pakistan and China, in whose favour he refused a permanent seat in the UN Security Council for India.

"There can hardly be a more glaring instance of Nehruji's unconcern for India's own strategic interests than his refusal to accept a US offer in 1952 of a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. He insisted that the seat be given to China," Advani said.

"Sadly, the shock that Nehru suffered when confronted by China's gross betrayal in 1962 virtually cost him his life," he said.

Interestingly, Advani had himself drawn flak on the Kandahar hijack issue and the Parliament attack - both of which took place during his tenure as home minister and dented his image of a strong leader.

In his blog, Advani also invokes BJP ideologue Shyama Prasad Mukherjee to criticise Nehru's policy towards China and Pakistan saying the latter termed them "as two egregious blunders of his (Nehru)".

However, it is Zakaria's recent book, The Post American World, which forms the main basis of Advani's criticism of Nehruvian foreign policy. "Nehru rooted India's foreign policy in abstract ideas rather than a strategic conception of national interests," Advani says, quoting Zakaria.

The book recalls that when Mountbatten suggested that there be a powerful chief of defence staff, Nehru turned down the suggestion.

"He (Nehru) disdained alliances, pacts, and treaties, seeing them as part of the old rules of real politik, and was uninterested in military matters," Zakaria wrote in his book.

Advani, however, quotes the Newsweek International editor to praise Nehru's daughter and India's first lady prime minister Indira Gandhi for her tough stance on Pakistan.

He agrees with Zakaria that India's policies became especially tough-minded and shrewd during her reign. "We all know that it was during her regime that Bangladesh was carved out, and that India took its initial step into the field of nuclear weaponry."
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