Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi

Doklam standoff was avoidable had Centre been more careful: Rahul

ANI | Updated: Aug 24, 2018 19:29 IST

London [United Kingdom], Aug. 24 (ANI): Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday asserted that the Doklam standoff could have been avoided if the current government at the Centre-led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi dealt with the matter more diligently.
During an interaction at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London, Rahul took a sardonic dig at the incumbent government and said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dispensation claimed that China withdrew its forces from Doklam, but the "Chinese are still present" at the disputed site.
While replying to a question on Doklam issue, Rahul said, "I don't have details of Doklam but I can say that Doklam is not an unrelated issue and it is not a border issue. It is a strategic issue and part of a sequence of events. Doklam crisis happened because the government is episodic. The Prime Minister views Doklam as an event. I would look at the process and tackle the process."
"Doklam could have been stopped if they were carefully watching over it. The words used by the government were very interesting. It said that the Chinese have withdrawn from the point of contact or they have withdrawn from where the altercation happened but the truth is Chinese are still in Doklam today," he added.
Further castigating the government over its foreign policy, the Gandhi scion said, "I think it is important that government develops a strategy based on India's foundational strengths. I don't see a coherent strategy based on India's strength. I see tactical responses but no strategic vision. I don't see consistency. We have tremendous institutional structures in our country and one has to use those structures to develop a strategy".
Rahul Gandhi also commented on India's strategy viz-a-viz Pakistan and said, "The issue with Pakistan is who you talk to in Pakistan. From our perspective, we see a number of institutions in Pakistan and some of those are hostile to India and are attacking India. Hence, it is difficult for us to work with that kind of structure. We have to wait till Pakistan has a coherent structure to talk to. Modi government also lacks a coherent strategy even in terms of Pakistan."
The Congress president also slammed the government over demonetisation and said that the currency swap broke the back of small and medium businesses.
"Demonetization was basically an attack on small-medium businesses. The RBI was not spoken too, the finance minister didn't know, the cabinet was locked."
Later, replying to a question related to the Ministry of External Affairs, Gandhi mocked union Minister Sushma Swaraj and quipped that the foreign minister of India has nothing better to do than getting people visas. However adding that, "She (Swaraj) is actually quite capable and if we gave her the power to do something, she can probably break the monopoly."
Gandhi is currently in the United Kingdom. He will be meeting with members of Labour Party's Shadow Cabinet and with business leaders apart from being part of several interactions. (ANI)