Following controversy over his remarks that Saudi Arabia can be a "valuable interlocutor" between India and Pakistan, MoS for external affairs Shashi Tharoor quickly clarified he did not mean Riyadh should be a mediator.
PMO sources told Times Now that Tharoor’s remarks have “embarrassed” the government.
Meanwhile, the minister also issued a clarification on the Ministry of External Affairs website. The statement said: "A section of the media has misread the remarks made by me in Riyadh last evening. What I basically said was that Saudi Arabia is a valuable interlocutor for India. Any other interpretation was neither meant nor warranted."
In comments that raised eyebrows in Indian political circles, Tharoor had said, "We feel that Saudi Arabia of course has a long and close relationship with Pakistan but that makes Saudi Arabia even a more valuable interlocutor for us." Tharoor is currently accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a three-day visit to the oil-rich kingdom.
An interlocutor is someone who informally explains the views of a government and also can relay messages back to a government. Unlike a spokesperson, an interlocutor often has no formal position within a government or any formal authority to speak on its behalf, and even when they do, everything an interlocutor says is his own personal opinion and not the official view of anyone. Because an interlocutor does not express an official view, communications between interlocutors are often useful at conveying information and ideas. Often interlocutors will talk with each other before formal negotiations. Interlocutors play an extremely important role in Sino-American relations.
Tharoor has had enough experience about the ignorance and illiteracy of the half-human species known as the Indian Neta. It is shameful that this kind of controversy is created repeatedly by our Netas, plainly out of an ignorance of the English language.