Connecting Regions of Asia.

Gadkari’s Smart Rhetoric More Nuanced Than Shah-Singh’s Empty Boasts

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Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Sunday said India wanted peace and non-violence to guide its relationship with the neighbouring countries and has never attempted to appropriate land belonging to others. Gadkari’s comments come amid tensions with China and Nepal over conflicting territorial claims and an assertion to never compromise India’s pride, made by union defence minister Rajnath Singh earlier today.

“Pakistan is on one side of our country, China on the other side. We want peace & non-violence. We never tried to snatch the land of Bhutan or Bangladesh. We don’t want the land of Pakistan or China either. The only thing we want is peace” Union minister Nitin Gadkari was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Gadkari’s comments come in the backdrop of India expressing unhappiness with Nepal’s parliament passing a constitutional amendment to include Indian territories of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura in the map of the Himalayan nation.

India has described Nepal’s actions as ‘unilateral’ and ‘artificial enlargement’ of claims, which was not based on ‘historical fact’ or ‘evidence’

On the other hand, Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in a phased pull out from a military build-up at the Ladakh boundary which has lasted for around 6 weeks and also resulted in violent clashes between the two sides.

Earlier today, defence minister Rajnath Singh, while addressing people in Jammu through a video link, also stressed on India’s preference for peacefully resolving the dispute with China through talks even as he asserted that India won’t compromise on national pride.

“Talks are underway with China at the diplomatic and military level. China, too, expressed its wish to resolve this issue via talks. I would like to inform the Opposition that our government won’t keep anyone in the dark. I assure you that we won’t compromise with national pride in any situation,” Singh said.

The Chinese build-up along the line of actual control (LAC) started in May first week along the Ladakh sector and Sikkim where they engaged Indian troops in a face off. Thereafter the tensions between forces of the two countries escalated further along other areas along the LAC. Situation eased after several rounds of talks between the two sides at diplomatic and military level.

Rajnath Singh said that India was no longer a weak country but its strength was not meant to scare anyone but was for its own security.

“India has become strong in its national security. India is no longer a weak India. Our strength has risen. But this strength is not meant to frighten anyone. If we are increasing our strength we are doing so to secure our country,” Singh was quoted as saying.

Gadkari and Singh’s comments could also be seen in the context of Nepal’s lower house of parliament approving a new political map laying claim over the strategically important areas of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura along the border with India. In a sharp reaction, New Delhi called it an untenable claim.

“This artificial enlargement of claims is not based on historical fact or evidence and is not tenable. It is also violative of our current understanding to hold talks on outstanding boundary issues,” a spokesperson quoted by PTI said.

Courtesy – HindustanTimes

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