Rajnath, Sushma to brief opposition on Indo-China stand-off, Jammu and Kashmir

Srinagar: Indian External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and home minister Rajnath Singh will brief opposition parties, on Friday at an all-party meeting on the Indo-China stand-off in Doklam, and the situation in Kashmir ahead of Parliament’s monsoon session that begins on Monday.

The meeting planned at the home minister’s residence comes in the wake of the longest stand-off between the neighbours along the border in recent times and an overall dip in bilateral ties.

For  more than five weeks now,  the two countries have been involved in a stand-off along a part of their 3,500 kilometres shared border. Since both the countries are populous and have very robust economies, and have fought a war over border disputes in 1962, the stand-off has attracted global media attention.

Both India and China have rushed more troops to the border as the divide between the two neighbouring countries is turning out to be one of the longest since the India-China war of 1962.

The Chinese state media, Global Times, also mentioned that “India has exposed itself to China’s interference in Jammu & Kashmir by sending Indian troops to disrupt Chinese soldiers from building a road in the Donglang region”

Ahead of the Parliament’s monsoon session, the government has decided to brief opposition leaders on developments on the issue to build a consensus to deal with its biggest neighbour.

In the latest tussle, New Delhi has expressed concerns over China trying to change the status quo at the India-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction in Doklam area of Sikkim, where Indian troops stopped road construction by Chinese soldiers.

For India, this move is against a 2012 bilateral understanding that requires China to take the party concerned (Bhutan) into confidence before any construction activities.

Bhutan, which doesn’t have diplomatic ties with China launched a protest against Chinese road construction activities at the tri-junction.

China has called for immediate withdrawal of the Indian troops from the area, and warned that the situation could get worse.

Ties with China have been strained recently due to a host of irritants, including Beijing blocking India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group and the China Pakistan economic corridor which goes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Last week, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “silence” on China, and had also met the Chinese ambassador to India.

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