India snubs China, says issues with Pakistan a bilateral matter
India’s stand on addressing all issues with Pakistan, including Kashmir, in a bilateral framework has not changed
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New Delhi: India, playing down its border conflict with China, said on Thursday all diplomatic channels would continue to be used for resolving the issue and rebuffed a Chinese offer to mediate on Kashmir, pointing out that New Delhi has always been ready to have a dialogue with Pakistan on all outstanding issues but in a bilateral framework.
“Our stand is absolutely clear. At the heart of the matter is really the issue of cross-border terrorism perpetrated on India including the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. So really the matter is cross-border terrorism emanating from a particular source threatening the peace and stability of not only India but other neighbours (as well),” said India’s foreign ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay.
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“As far as the Kashmir issue itself is concerned, the government’s position has been very consistent and clear. We have been ready to have dialogue with Pakistan but in a bilateral framework. That position of addressing all issues with Pakistan including the J&K issue in a bilateral framework has not changed,” said Baglay in response to a query on China’s offer to play a role on Kashmir.
Earlier, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang had said, “Situation of Kashmir has drawn the attention of the international community. The conflict between the two countries along the Line of Control in Kashmir is neither conducive to their own stability and development nor regional peace and tranquillity. China hopes relevant parties to do more to help with regional peace and stability and refrain from escalating the tension. China stands ready to play a constructive role to improve the relations between Pakistan and India.”
India has always rejected such offers from any country and maintained its position of addressing the issues with Pakistan bilaterally.
India, meanwhile, also sought to play down the border stand-off with China.
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The stand-off on the Doka La plateau in Bhutan—on the tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan—is now three weeks old.
Baglay said India has already come out with a statement two weeks ago wherein India’s position on the issue and approach to resolve it are clearly laid out.
“We have also referred to how two governments have been engaged in past few years on this important issue. And also how do we wish to address the issues in future—the boundary matter and tri-junctions. We are very much seized of the matter. We are very much sure of the approach that is being taken,” Baglay added.
On Wednesday, Geng said, “We once again require India to withdraw the border troops to the Indian side of the boundary and properly settle this dispute at an early date.”