Vajpayee’s perception needed to establish relations with Pak: Soz

Vajpayee’s perception needed to establish relations with Pak: Soz

Srinagar, Jul 12: Senior Congress leader Prof Saifuddin Soz on Friday said former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s perception on neighbourhood could be the guiding principal for the present government, headed by Narendra Modi, to establish meaningful friendly relations with Pakistan and other countries.
In a statement here this afternoon, former Union minister Prof Soz, reacting to the statement of Minister of State (MoS) V Murleedharan in Parliament that onus was on Islamabad to create an atmosphere for a conducive atmosphere for dialogue, said ‘I could imagine that the present government had moved quite a far away from Vajpayee’s path of conciliation, reconciliation and cordiality.
“Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whom I knew closely, was decidedly born out of the RSS womb, yet his approach to deal with the neighbhourhood was uniquely pragmatic and workable,” he said.
Prof Soz said it was certainly a tribute to Vajpayee’s far sightedness 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 21,1999. It was really miraculous, he said.
However, he said 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 June 8, 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”, Pro Soz said.