Friday, 21 July, 2017

India rejects China's offer of mediation over Kashmir dispute

Village near India China border Village near India China border
Heather Davidson | 16 July, 2017, 01:03

Speaking to media Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, a former defence minister, said China betrayed Nehru and would behave similarly with the NDA government if it let its guard down.

Officials said Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will brief leaders of prominent Opposition parties on Friday on the situation in Jammu & Kashmir and the stand-off with China.

He said the Chinese maneuvers by trying to construct roads in Doklam region is not only a violation of the 1998 Bhutan-China bilateral agreement for maintaining peace on the border, but also a veiled threat to cut off the national capital from the gateway for import of food and other materials from India.

Asked if his remarks on diplomatic resolution of Doklam stand off indicated any shift in Chinese demand for withdrawal of Indian troops from the area, he said India has already outlined its position on the issue. Recent weeks have seen strong comments by both countries, with Defence Minister Arun Jaitley stating that China, which has sought to remind India of its defeat in the 1962 war, would do well to remember that India today is "not the same as that of 1962". The Home Ministry apparently told the leaders that China is encroaching into the territory of the country. "We urged the Centre to open its door for talks and resolve through guns and battles".

Senior CPM leader Sitaram Yechury added that national interest was paramount in whatever the government does and suggested that the issue be resolved through negotiations.

Indian officials said the nation remains willing to negotiate a settlement with Pakistan over the disputed territory, but only between the two nations and with no global mediators involved. Bhutan co-operates closely with India in determining its foreign policy, and the Indian Army is involved in the training of its armed forces.

According to the Indian Embassy, the government of India has committed to support Bhutan's 11th Five Year Plan (July 2013 to June 2018) to the tune of Rs 4,500 crore.

He also raised the issue of the overall internal security situation in the country in the wake of rising incidents of lynchings and vigilantism. "...don't blame us that (we) didn't warn you!" it said.

Asked after the briefing whether the Congress was satisfied, Sharma told The Indian Express, "We were informed".

The stand-off between India and China is a effect of the latter trying to disturb the status-quo at the India-China-Bhutan tri-junction in Doklam.

India is estimated to have produced approximately 600 kilograms of weapon-grade plutonium, sufficient for 150-200 nuclear warheads; however, not all the material has been converted into nuclear warheads, they said.

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