India rejects China's mediation offer on Kashmir

Posted July 16, 2017

During a briefing on Friday at Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's residence, the Opposition parties asked the central ministers present to make efforts to de-escalate the tension with Beijing and keep diplomatic channels open to resolve the crisis, said sources.

Opposition leaders were told about the situation along the Sino-Indian border and Jammu and Kashmir and the government action, officials said.

Earlier too, Chinese media and government spokespersons have recalled the 1962 war between India and China, as a warning, since the stand-off between the two countries in Doklam, in the Sikkim region, sparked tensions in mid-June.

Mulayam Singh Yadav of Samajwadi Party told the MPs that India should be wary of China as it was a "dhokebaaz (traitor) country".

"The UN chief, the USA president, the Chinese leadership and others have offered to play a role in resolving the Kashmir issue", said the Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria. Following the meeting, Mr O'Brien said that while all parties listened to government's response on China, the general sense was that India should also engage diplomatically with the neighbouring country. Everyone said that they, across party lines, are with the government over the issue.

Following the government briefing, leaders of political parties also advised the government to consider why India's relations with most of its neighbours had nosedived in the past three years, be it with China, or with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

"We stand united when it comes to India's national interests", Sharma said.

Emboldened by the strategic support and new weapons it has received from the US, India's BJP government has pursued an increasingly hardline policy against Pakistan.

After the meeting, Sitaram Yechury of the CPI (M) said the government assured them that "they'll tackle the situation through dialogue". The Indian military has blocked the Chinese construction of a road on the border of Bhutan, which officials there have said is on their land. 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. "All of us know that the heart of the matter is cross-border terrorism perpetrated on India, including Jammu and Kashmir". This was because it was painfully aware that a key U.S. strategic aim is to harness India to its anti-China offensive and feared an aggressive response would only drive New Delhi into Washington's welcoming embrace.

Congress's Sharma said that the standoff should not be allowed to affect the "settled part" of the Sikkim sector and expressed concern that India "may be running the risk of unravelling that".