Defence logistics pact between India, US signed without national consensus: Congress - Firstpost
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Defence logistics pact between India, US signed without national consensus: Congress


New Delhi: Insisting that signing of the defence logistics sharing pact with the US is a "fundamental departure" from India's policy of 'strategic military neutrality', Congress on Tuesday demanded the contents of the agreement be placed in public domain as the Modi government has acted "unilaterally without national consensus".

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar with US Defence Secretary Ash Carter at a joint news conference at the Pentagon. CNN-News18

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar with US Defence Secretary Ash Carter at a joint news conference at the Pentagon. CNN-News18

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter on Tuesday signed the 'Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement' (LEMOA) that will enable the two militaries use each other's assets and bases for repair and replenishment.

"Signing of LEMOA is a fundamental departure from India's time-tested policy of 'strategic military neutrality'. It raises a genuine and grave apprehension regarding India being unwarrantedly drawn into an operational military design in Asia-Pacific Region and the Middle East", party's chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said in a statement.

He claimed this would "jeopardise" India's national, geo-global and strategic interests and cause "serious misgivings" unless explained and justified among traditional partners and time-tested allies - regionally and globally. "Modi government has neither explained the reasons which prompted this major shift nor made the contents of the agreement public," he said.

"Congress demands that contents of the agreement be placed in public domain or at least shared with leadership of Opposition parties as this decision has been taken in an opaque manner by stealth as also unilaterally without national consensus," he said.

He said that in April this year, Congress had expressed concerns about steps being taken by the government to enter into three 'strategic foundational agreements' with the United States.

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