New Delhi: In a rare reference to foreign policy issues in parliament, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Tarun Vijay has praised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s “BRICS initiative” that will see leaders of Brazil, China, Russia and South Africa join India for a summit meeting in the Indian capital later this month.

He also praised the government’s ‘East Asia policy’ of building ties with countries in the Southeast and East Asian region.

Speaking Monday evening in the Rajya Sabha on the motion of thanks on the president’s address, he said BRICS countries represent one-third of the world’s population and a combined GDP of $1.6 trillion. “It’s good to see that the prime minister is continuing with a policy of strategic cooperation in this area, that was strengthened by the Vajpayee government,” Vijay said.

“Indian initiative in East Asia and BRICS is laudable,” he said. He welcomed Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to New Delhi this month end to attend the BRICS summit. This opportunity should be used to remove hurdles in bilateral ties, he said.

Vijay, who is a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committe on External Affairs, however, criticised the government on on its “failure” in the Maldives, alluding to the toppling of the democratically elected Nasheed government that apparently took New Delhi by surprise, and keeping silent on alleged violations of “Hindus’ human rights in Pakistan”.

Source: IANS