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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 19 April 2024 11.08 PM IST

'Nehru wanted to handover Kachchatheevu to Sri Lanka': External Affairs Minister

jaishankar

NEW DELHI: India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, purportedly considered handing over Kachchatheevu Island to Sri Lanka, according to Union External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar. Jaishankar responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's criticism of the Congress regarding the Kachchatheevu issue citing a speech made by former External Affairs Minister Swaran Singh in 1974.

Jaishankar expressed confidence that the agreement concerning the Pak Strait, which forms a part of the maritime boundary between India and the southeast coast of Sri Lanka, will be equitable for both nations. He referenced former External Affairs Minister Swaran's assertion that even if this agreement were to be terminated, the rights of people to fish and engage in tourism would continue smoothly in the future.

Jaishankar also announced that a new agreement would be negotiated between India and Sri Lanka within two years, wherein India would present two demands. These demands include the establishment of special economic zones by both countries to exercise more sovereignty over resources within their respective zones. Additionally, India would commit to refraining from fishing in Sri Lanka's territorial waters.

Meanwhile, Narendra Modi criticized the Congress for its stance on the transfer of Kachchatheevu Island to Sri Lanka, suggesting that the Congress could not be trusted and had indeed relinquished control of Kachchatheevu. Modi's criticism was based on a report prepared by national media, which cited an RTI reply received by Tamil Nadu BJP President K Annamalai. Modi described the report as eye-opening and shocking.

Kachchatheevu was historically frequented by fishermen from Tamil Nadu when fish stocks in the Indian Ocean were depleted. Sri Lanka used to detain individuals crossing the international boundary for fishing purposes. Against this backdrop, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Stalin had previously written to the Prime Minister urging the recovery of the island.

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TAGS: NEHRU YUVA, KACHCHATHEEVU, ISLAND, MINISTER, JAISHANKAR
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