Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will brief the opposition today at Mr Singh's residence on the ongoing standoff with China over a road builiding in Sikkim and the security situation in Kashmir after the recent terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims.
Leaders of opposition parties present included Congress's senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikurjan Kharge and Anand Sharma, Janata Dal-United's Sharad Yadav and KC Tyagi, CPI (M)'s Sitaram Yechury and Trinamool Congress's Derek O'Brien. India and China are in a standoff at the border and the government is looking for ways to sort out the issue.
India should understand its future lies in Asia and not as an ally of the USA, stated Chinese newspaper Global Times in a recent op-ed. "Our central government, under the leadership of Prime Minister is protecting the Indian territories very properly".
As the impasse festered, opposition parties criticised the government for what they said not taking them into confidence on issues of national interest and security.
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"The extra range will allow the Indian military to establish Agni-5 bases in central and southern India, further away from China", the article purportedly said.
Stressing that the Congress will raise the issue in Parliament, Sharma said that his party told the Government that India's concerns have to be fully met and there should not be any compromise on national security. Everyone said that they, across party lines, are with the government over the issue. Some of the opposition leaders later said they didn't get satisfactory answers.
Sources said the opposition was informed about the ground situation in Dokalam area and what the government meant to do to de-escalate the border tension. "Those channels will continue to be used". Indian troops stopped road construction by Chinese soldiers on June 16. Indian apprehension is that any boundary deal between Thimpu and Beijing will not only impact Indian security but also impinge on its own negotiating position with China on the boundary issue. "All of us know that the heart of the matter is cross-border terrorism perpetrated on India, including Jammu and Kashmir". "They have promised to support government over the issue".
India, however, is adamant; it and the tiny kingdom of Bhutan, which does not even have diplomatic relations with China, will not permit Beijing to gain the upper hand in the Doklam. Pointing to China's "hostility and aggressive posturing ... both on our land borders and sea", Prakash says, "realpolitik demands India" ensure "a favourable regional balance-of-power through cooperation and partnerships; striking short-term alliances if necessary".