Tahlka News Bureau
New Delhi: The government faced tough questions from the Opposition parties and its allies on Friday concerning the border standoff with China ahead of the parliaments monsoon session.
While in response to the Oppositions leaders call for using "active diplomatic channels" to resolve the issue, the Centre said it is engaging in negotiations to ease the tension in the Doklam region of the Sikkim sector.
Here are some points discussed from the meeting :
1) The meeting was addressed jointly by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj along with defence minister Arun Jaitely and was attended by various political leaders. "All the participants expressed strong support for India's approach and also for the need for national unity. Importance of India China to remain engaging through diplomacy was underlined," MEA spokesperson Goal Baglay said.
National security advisor Ajit Doaval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar were also present in the meeting.
2) Jaishankar was quoted by Opposition members that China is trying to change the status quo long its southern border. He talked about the diplomatic process to resolve obove of the longest border standoff in recent times.
Opposition leader, including Congress' Annad Shama and CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, wanted to know as to why the impasse happened in 2017 and why the government us unable to find a solution through negotiations and discussions. Most leaders, including the NCP's Sharad Pawar, seconded the questions. "What triggered the standoff?" Sharma asked.
3) The Congress, Trinamool Congress, CPM and Shiv Sena, which is an NDA allay showered with questions, while some of the opposition leader said they didn't get satisfactory answers. "We said that on issues of national security and integrity of the country, we are with the government," Trinamool leader Derek O'Brien said. Jaishankar, stating his point said that strategic significance of Doklam and the faceoff needs to be seen in the context of the Siliguri corridor, the narrow stretch of land connecting the Northeast with the country. "There was wide spread appreciation o the understanding between India and China that differences between them shouldn't become disputes," Baglay said.
4) The Shiv Sena took and aggressive stand and sought action and "not mere talks" from the Centre. But AIADMK parliamentarian A Navaneethakrishnan said they are satisfied with the governments response. Former Defence Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav representing the Samajwadi Party at the meeting, said the government needs to be dealing with China. It was decided that the two former defence minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and Pawar, would meet Jiltely on China issue. However, Swaraj ha called for another meeting on Saturday to brief other party leaders.
5) The government also briefed the leaders on the Amarnath attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag in which seven pilgrims were killed by militants while returning from the shine.
Several leaders said the government couldn't come up with a credible reason to explain about the security lapses that led to the attack.
"Why was there a lapse and security failure?" asked O'Brien.
The leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress, wanted to know why the bus took four hours for a two-hour journey and why it was allotted to travel at night.