Congress assails Modi over silence on China's remarks on Kashmir

Congress assails Modi over silence on China's remarks on Kashmir

Congress assails Modi over silence on China's remarks on Kashmir
Congress today questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's silence on China voicing concern over Kashmir violence and said it is due to the "lack of maturity" in the government's foreign policy that led to Beijing's "direct" interference in India's internal affairs.

Congress spokesperson Kapil Sibal said it was expected of the Prime Minister or the External Affairs Minister to make a statement on the floor of the House expressing concern over China's remarks that did not happen, but hoped they would do so on Monday when opposition raises the issue in Parliament.

"For the first time in India's post-independence history, China has commented on the conflict in Jammu and Kashmir. This is a direct interference in the domestic affairs of India and what is surprising is that Government of India has taken no note of it. This is very serious and this is the result of a lack of maturity in our foreign policy," he told reporters.

Sibal said it has been reported that a spokesperson for Chinese Foreign Ministry had on July 19 said, "China has taken note of the relevant reports in Jammu and Kashmir. We are concerned about the casualties in the clash. We hope that it will be handled properly".

The Congress leader said neither the Prime Minister nor the Foreign Minister expressed concern over the remarks. He said a public statement should have been made by the Prime Minister on the Floor of the House.

He said the Prime Minister should have expressed both concern and response to Chinese government, telling them that "they should not fish in troubled waters and that they have no locus standi to comment on the internal affairs of India".

Sibal said when Manmohan Singh was Prime Minister, "we kept a very delicate balance between our relationship with the United States and with China and considered both of them as partners in the progress of this region."

"The present Prime Minister has not handled the situation with any sense of maturity," he alleged.

Sibal added that when the opposition raises the issue on Monday, the Prime Minister should inform the House about his position in the matter.

"I am sure that the House will unanimously express concern over the statement but we don't expect the Prime Minister and the Foreign Ministry to keep quiet for two days on a matter," he said.

Sibal also said that after 100 tanks were deployed by India in the Ladakh region, China reacted, saying investment in India cannot come at a time when normal political ties are not there, even as it referred to 'Pakistan Occupied Kashmir' as territory 'administered by Pakistan' for the first time.

He said Frontier Defence Regiment of People's Liberation Army in Xinjiang along with Border Police Force from Pakistan will carry out a joint patrol along the China-Pakistan Border.

"Now they consider that as the China-Pakistan Border and not an administered territory of Pakistan. In a sense they have recognized (Pakistan's claim over PoK)," he said.