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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Cancel China visit: Rajnath Singh to Khurshid

PTI  New Delhi, April 28, 2013
First Published: 15:20 IST(28/4/2013) | Last Updated: 15:22 IST(28/4/2013)

BJP president Rajnath Singh on Sunday demanded cancellation of external affairs minister Salman Khurshid's May 9 visit to China till it withdraws its army personnel forces from Depsang Valley in Ladakh where they intruded a fortnight back.

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"Despite all this, our foreign minister is going to China on a visit. I am sorry but I would humbly request the Prime Minister to stop the foreign minister. Till the time China leaves Ladakh and goes back, there should not be any visit to Beijing," Singh said addressing the Matri Shree awards function in New Delhi.

He also demanded that the area should be handed over to the Army instead of ITBP, which is currently posted there.

"The area where China has infiltrated was under the army till 2010. The government pulled out the army from there and handed it over to ITBP, which fall under the home ministry."

"I request that without any delay, the area under ITBP be handed back to the army because no other force can work there. It is a very sensitive matter and our country is facing grave danger from outside," Singh said.

The government so far has decided to go ahead with Khurshid's visit notwithstanding the Chinese intrusion.

Khurshid's trip comes ahead of the visit by newly elected Chinese premier Li Keqiang to India later next month. A lot of significance is being attached to Li's visit, his first abroad after becoming Prime Minister last month.

The BJP chief said the way China was surrounding India from all corners was "not a recent thing" and that he had attracted the government's attention to this five years ago.

"I was the first politician to raise the issue of China building a dam on Brahmaputra five-six years ago and trying to divert its water. I raised this issue in Parliament. The Prime Minister said it is a serious matter and I would speak to you personally. I suggested composition of a joint committee to probe the matter but it wasn't done," Singh rued.

On the attack on Sarabjit Singh in a Lahore jail, the BJP chief said had India been strong in protesting against earlier similar incidents in Pakistan, no one could have dared to attack him.

Singh said, "Sarabjit was attacked in a Pakistani jail and it is condemnable. It is the responsibility of the country concerned to provide security to its prisoners but the way Sarabjit was attacked is unfortunate and I condemn it.

"But it is not the first instance. Before this, Chamel Singh and somebody called Lakshman, who was arrested, were attacked inside jail and died later but the government of Pakistan did nothing," Singh said.

The BJP chief said that when a small country like Pakistan violates the border and kills Indian jawans, "we should strongly protest but we are never able to do that."

Maintaining that such instances jolt the country's conscience, Singh said, "If we had been strong in protesting against earlier incidents, I can say with confidence that no one would have dared to attack an Indian prisoner lodged in a Pakistani jail because Pakistan government would have been scared and wary that if any harm comes on an Indian, India would take revenge.

"But they know that even if they behead our soldier, India would say nothing."

Singh said there is a crisis of credibility that the political class is facing right now because there is a huge difference in words and deeds.

"Our country is in a whirlpool of trouble. India's pride is being hurt by corruption and it has to be dealt with. There is danger outside...besides the internal trouble," he said.

Party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said, "The entire foreign policy of the government is in a coma. Be it the attack on Sarabjit in a Pakistan jail, the 19km deep incursion in Ladakh by China or the beheading of Indian jawans, India's position under this government has been very weak.

"This is a spineless government. It cannot assert our real position vis-a-vis our neighbour. We cannot even impress upon our neighbours to do justice. The attitude that the government has adopted in the Sarabjit is very condemnable," he told reporters in New Delhi.


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