Register strongest protest to China: Indian political partiesAugust 27th, 2010 - 7:41 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 27 (IANS) Political parties across the spectrum Friday condemned reports of an Indian Army general being unwelcome in China because he has Jammu and Kashmir under his command and appealed to the government to register its protest with Beijing in the strongest possible way.
“The India government and the ministry of external affairs must immediately convey their displeasure in the strongest possible terms to China. This is the worst kind of insult thrust upon India,” said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesman Prakash Javadekar.
Lt. Gen. B.S. Jaswal, who heads the sensitive Northern Command that guards the borders with China and Pakistan, was to have visited China for a high-level exchange but Beijing conveyed that he was “unwelcome” as he had “difficult” territory under his control.
In retaliation, sources said, India had refused visas to three Chinese army officers to visit India.
Asking the government to take a firm stand on the issue, former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh said: “You cannot have a situation where a serving and ranking officer of the Indian Army has been denied a legitimate visa for a function which is not a private function. I think the Indian government has to take a very firm and completely unambiguous stand on it.”
“China has no business doing this kind of thing and I have always believed that the Indian government should retaliate in kind…a very strong message should go to China that India will not take such things lying down. China has been discourteous to India and India should not accept this,” said BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, also a former external affairs minister.
The ruling Congress also criticised China’s action and said India should register its protest.
“A relationship has to be premised on mutual self-respect. It has to be premised on sensitivity for each other concerns and if at all there is violation of that sensitivity and if there is a reaction from India, I think it is warranted,” said Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari.
“The ministry is looking into the matter and all talks (with China) are on,” said Minister of State for External Affairs Preenet Kaur.
Chinese envoy Zhang Yan visited South Block Friday afternoon and met officials of the ministry of external affairs for 25 minutes on the Jaswal issue.
The external affairs ministry said Jaswal’s visit had not taken place “due to certain reasons”.
“While we value our exchanges with China, there must be sensitivity to each others’ concerns,” said ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash.
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