India and China are locked in a stalemate in Doklam in the Sikkim sector.
NEW DELHI: Leading political parties today backed the government’s approach to resolve the month-long stand-off with China at the Sikkim border diplomatically and peacefully, reassuring the NDA government
that the parties would rise above politics on matters of national security. Home Minister Rajnath Singh
had convened the all party meeting to bring the opposition up to speed on the Sikkim stand-off and the
terrorist attack on Amarnath Yatris this week that killed 7 people.The government is seeking to build
support for its action ahead of the monsoon session of parliament that begins on Monday.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma stressed on attempts to de-escalate the situation at the border so
that peace is maintained. “We conveyed our concerns to the government and proposed diplomacy be
employed to ease tensions,” Mr Sharma told reporters.
The government agreed with this stance, pointing to the recent agreement between the India and China
that “differences between them should not become disputes”.
The meeting was attended by 19 lawmakers from different political parties who were briefed by senior
ministers and top officials. Government spokesperson Frank Noronha said there would be a second round
of meeting tomorrow for the remaining political parties.
The Congress has, however, made it clear that they would still debate the stand-off and Amarnath Yatra
attack when parliament begins. “That is what parliament is meant for. It is the highest forum for
discussion and debate,” Mr Anand Sharma said.
China has been warning that it will not allow any resolution without India withdrawing its soldiers
from what it claims is its territory. India has so far refused, stressing on dialogue to resolve the
The dispute is located at the tri-junction of India, Tibet and Bhutan and began early in June. China
says Indian soldiers crossed into its territory to stop its army from building a road in an area it
India and Bhutan say the road is being built on a part of the Dokolam plateau that belongs not to China
but to the tiny Himalayan kingdom.
India had warned China that the road was a serious security concern because it gives Beijing access to
the “Chicken’s Neck”- a thin wedge that links mainland India with its seven north-eastern states.
The lawmakers were also briefed about the Amarnath Yatra attack, the steps taken by the government to
secure the pilgrims and including deployment of over 20,000 soldiers for guarding the route of the
Derek O’Brien of the Trinamool Congress, however, said they didn’t get the clear answers that the
opposition was looking for. “If they knew about this (attack), why did they not act? Why did the
government fail. These are the hard questions we asked,” he said.