(TibetanReview.net, Sep18, 2018) – An India parliamentary panel has suggested that the armies of India and China conclude an overarching “border engagement agreement” since the latter seemed to be interested only to keep the border dispute between the two sides alive, reported the tribuneindia.com Sep 16.
“It is difficult for the committee to escape the perception that China sees it as being in its interests to keep the (boundary) dispute alive indefinitely for the purpose of throwing India off-balance whenever it so desires,” The panel, headed by former Minister of State for External Affairs and Congress MP Sashi Tharoor, was quoted as saying.
Till such time as a definitive solution can be negotiated, maintenance of peace and tranquillity in border areas is an important pre-requisite for the smooth progression of bilateral relations. Accordingly, the committee has said: “It would strongly desire that a comprehensive Border Engagement Agreement is concluded between the Indian Army and the PLA (Peoples Liberation Army)”.
The comprehensive Border Engagement Agreement, the committee has suggested, should subsume all established mechanisms for confidence building, including border personnel meetings, flag meetings, meetings of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on border affairs (WMCC) and other diplomatic channels.
The report noted that since the Parliament was not in session, the panel had presented the report on “Sino-India relations, including Doklam, border situation…” to the Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Sep 4. It was reported to have been made public on Sep 12.
The committee was stated to have suggested that baseless claims made by China on the limits of the boundary with India needed to be fully exposed before the international community. These claims are devoid of any amount of credibility or justification.
The report did not mention the name of the committee, although Tharoor chairs the parliament’s Committee on External Affairs.