Ahead of Trump visit, Congress raises US-Taliban deal issue

Published: Feb 23, 2020, 8:22 pm IST
Trump, Melania to visit Bapu's Sabarmati Ashram

New Delhi : Ahead of US President Donald Trump’s arrival in India, the opposition has raised the issue of the Afghan Taliban’s deal with the US and India’s energy security, with the the Congress saying that India’s national interest issues must be raised with Trump as also solved amicably.

“We sincerely hope that India’s interests will not be compromised on account of a deal in Afghanistan.” said party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

“America and the Taliban in Afghanistan are about to sign a deal on 29th February. What about India’s red lines? Have we forgotten the hijacking of Indian Airlines plane IC-81 and taking it to Kandahar Afghanistan, and consequent release of terrorist Masood Azhar’, who then turned around and through his terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammed attacked Indian Parliament as also was responsible for the dreaded Pulwama attack?”, he asked.

” India must also raise its concern about any such deal respecting and honouring the democratic and constitutional process, including the just elected Ashraf Ghani government in Afghanistan. What about the new deal and the new Taliban respecting the democratic process as also the human rights and rights of women in Afghanistan?” he said.

“What about this new deal not creating a space for the terror network thriving in Afghanistan? Be it the Islamic State, be it the Haqqani network, or be it the dreaded Al Qaeda, who are direct benefactors of the terrorist organizations in Pakistan, whether it is Jaish-e-Mohammad, whether other organizations and terrorists, who thrive on support from Afghanistan?” he added.

The Congress also raised the issue of oil to which had been imported from Iran.

“Up till 2018, we bought 250 crore tonnes of crude oil every month from Iran or 7 lakh 70 thousand barrels daily, and this was on rupee payment not on dollar terms. India also got a 90 days credit as also doorstep delivery of crude oil,” Surjewala said.

“It helped keep the price of diesel and petrol down in India.” the Congress leader said.

“At the instance of the US, when sanctions were imposed, we have stopped buying crude oil from Iran, the net consequence is high prices of petrol and diesel in India.

“President Trump arrives and we celebrate his arrival in Ahmedabad. I sincerely, on behalf of the people of India, hope that Prime Minister Modi will raise the issue of cheap crude oil supply to India otherwise how will our economy thrive, how will the salaried class, the middle class, India’s farmer thrive and get petrol and diesel at reasonable prices? ” he added.