Hours after Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, was received with a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday, Congress lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter for "breaking protocol" and welcoming the dignitary in person at the airport on Tuesday who had "promised billions to Pakistan".
India-Pakistan relations have faltered drastically after the Pulwama terror attack on 14 February in which 42 CRPF men were killed after a suicide bomber, owing allegiance to Pakistan-backed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), rammed his car into one of the buses of a CRPF convoy.
At a time when the event has sparked outrage among individuals from a cross-section of society and politicians across the political spectrum, the party blamed Modi for disrespecting the sacrifice made by the soldiers. MBS is said to have signed investment agreements worth $20 billion with Pakistan.
By breaking protocol and welcoming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman with such abundance - only hours after he promised billions to Pakistan - PM Modi has shown the country, the martyrs and every soldier in India what he thinks of their service & sacrifice. pic.twitter.com/YPJa2Q1cFT
— Congress (@INCIndia) February 20, 2019
MBS, who is on a two-day visit to India, arrived on Tuesday night with his ministers and a large business delegation, a day after he concluded his trip to Pakistan. Modi embraced the crown prince as he disembarked the royal aircraft at the Palam airport. The prime minister broke protocol to receive the crown prince himself instead of sending a diplomat or junior minister to the airport, signifying importance India attaches to the visit by the leader of the powerful Gulf nation.
The crown prince had flown back to Riyadh from Islamabad after New Delhi had expressed reservations about him travelling to India from Pakistan, in the wake of the heightened tensions between the neighbours after the Pulwama attack. Modi and Crown Prince Salman will hold bilateral talks on a number of subjects.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Feb 20, 2019 13:42:36 IST