Is Krishna's criticism of Pillai timed well itself?


Samir Sachdeva | July 22, 2010

External affairs minister, S M Krishna had slammed the home secretary, G K Pillai over his speaking to the press about the disclosures made by Headley saying that the timings were bad. More than anything, the spat between ministry of home affairs and ministry of external affairs has lead one to believe that both ministries are not in sync on their Pakistan policy. Krishna had during his visit to Pak did not defend the home secretary when the Pakistan foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi compared Pillai to Hafiz Saeed. 

Krishna’s silence and later his disapproval of Pillai’s comment has given an opportunity to Pakistan to claim that India was not ready for talks and that there were gaps in view of the two ministries within India. The episode has not only given fodder to Pakistan but may also confuse the international community on India’s position and posturing relating to the foreign policy on Pakistan.

While discretion and prudence are both mandated when the government speaks to the media on issues that may have a bearing on sensitive foreign policy, it is also necessary that the government appears unequivocal on its stand on such issues.

It appears that the minister was looking for a scapegoat for failure of talks with Pakistan and the home secretary was a good option for him. But in the quest to prove his competence and appease his Pakistani counterpart, he has demeaned the competence of Indian government. Will the minister not be seen as batting for Pakistan, with his statements on Pillai?

Given that these comments could be used by Pakistani propaganda machine in the international community, is Krishna's criticism of Pillai timed well itself?



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