India-Pakistan ties purely bilateral, no space for third country, says India after China suggests trilateral summit
India on Monday said matters related to India-Pakistan relations are purely bilateral in nature and that there is no scope for involvement of any third country, reacting to Chinese envoy Luo Zhaohui’s comments endorsing trilateral cooperation among India, China and Pakistan to resolve such issues.
The opposition Congress party also condemned the Chinese ambassador’s statement.
Endorsing the idea of trilateral cooperation between India, China and Pakistan under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Luo said it could “in the future” help resolve bilateral issues between New Delhi and Islamabad and help maintain peace.
In response to queries on the comments made by the Chinese Ambassador to India on a possible trilateral summit between India, China and Pakistan, ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India had not received any such suggestion from the Chinese government.
“We have seen reports on comments made by the Chinese Ambassador in this matter. We have not received any such suggestion from the Chinese government. We consider the statement as the personal opinion of the Ambassador. Matters related to India-Pakistan relations are purely bilateral in nature and have no scope for involvement of any third country,” he said.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the Government of India should also strongly condemn the “unwarranted suggestion” of the Chinese Ambassador and that all issues between India and Pakistan would be resolved as per the Shimla Agreement.
The Chinese Ambassador said “some Indian friends” had suggested trilateral cooperation comprising India, China and Pakistan under the aegis of the SCO, which was a “very constructive idea”.
“Security cooperation is one of the three pillars of the SCO. Some Indian friends suggested that China, India and Pakistan may have some kind of trilateral cooperation under the SCO,” he said in his keynote address on ‘Beyond Wuhan: How Far and Fast can China-India Relations Go’ at an event organised by the Chinese Embassy here.
Responding to a question on whether a trilateral meet between the Asian neighbours will help in solving the India-Pakistan dispute, he said he personally considered it “a good and constructive idea”.