Congress urges Centre to resolve India-China border stand-off diplomatically


All the Opposition parties, including the Congress, TMC and CPM, assured the government of their unequivocal support on the ongoing standoff with China at Doka La, close to the Indian border, at a marathon all-party meeting on Friday.

On Kashmir, Singh will brief the opposition leaders about the steps taken by the government to ensure security in the state.

During Jaishankar's background briefing on China, Siliguri and the Chicken's Neck Corridor that joins mainland Indian with the northeastern states came up for discussion several times, pointing to the fact that West Bengal is looking at the developments on the China front very closely because of the proximity of these areas to the global border with China.

On 10 July, militants attacked a bus carrying Amarnath pilgrims, killing seven persons and injuring 19 others in south Kashmir's Khanabal area on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh accompanied by his senior Cabinet colleagues External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley gave a detailed briefing to senior Opposition leaders on both issues.

Among the parties which took part in the meeting were the Congress, the BJP, AIADMK, DMK, JD-U, Trinamool Congress, CPI-M, TRS, BSP, Samajwadi Party, YSR Congress, Shiv Sena and TDP.

The party asked the government to share "full information about the background and situation that exists on India-China as also on the Bhutan border".

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The Opposition was also informed about the increased security measures put in place, including along the border and LoC, to contain violence in the Valley following the killing of top Hizbul Mujahideen commander.

Congress leader Anand Sharma said, "National security-priority of INC, advised them to tackle situation diplomatically, rising above politics for national interest".

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay said during the meeting they underlined the importance of India and China to remain engaged through diplomacy.

During the all-party meeting, the Congress demanded that the Modi government take the Opposition into confidence.

Derek O'Brien of the Trinamool Congress said his party had straight-forward questions on the Amarnath issue for which they did not get answers. Everyone said that they, across party lines, are with the government over the issue. Why did the government fail?

On the China issue, sources said that the government maintained that it wanted good relations with its neighbours but did not want to compromise on the country's security and strategic interests.