It's easier for Bhutanese to opt for India than China

Posted July 15, 2017

"We have been ready to have dialogue with Pakistan among other issues (including) J&K in a bilateral framework".

The sabre-rattling by officials and media on both sides show that a resolution to this stand-off is not imminent, causing anxiety to the two countries that are sandwiched between them: Bhutan and Nepal. "India's position of addressing all issues with Pakistan, including the Jammu and Kashmir issue, in a bilateral framework has not changed", said India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Gopal Baglay.

Opposition leaders were on Friday briefed by the government on the stand-off with China and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Two American nuclear experts have claimed that India is modernising its atomic arsenal keeping China's nuclear strategy in mind.

India has already expressed concern over China trying to construct a road in Sikkim's Doklam area, which would impact the situation in the India-Bhutan region and the Tibet tri-junction.

"It is also important to keep in mind that Bhutan is the main party in the dispute".

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Asked about Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav who is in Pakistan custody for alleged espionage, Mr Baglay said, there has been no progress on consular access for Mr Jadhav.

"The Sikkim section of the China-India boundary has been defined by the Convention between Great Britain and China Relating to Sikkim and Tibet (1890)", and both Chinese and Indian governments have repeatedly acknowledged it, Geng noted.

Stating that the NDA government has "increased" profile of the Dalai Lama, the CPI (M) said the spiritual leader's visit to Arunachal Pradesh along with a Union minister and his recent unfurling of Tibetan flag of the provisional government in Ladakh are "serious irritants" for China.

Indian foreign secretary S Jaishankar's remarked that he sees no reason why the two nations couldn't resolve existing differences when they have resolved past differences over the border successfully. Everyone said that they, across party lines, are with the government over the issue. He also strongly rejected allegations by Pakistan that India was using chemical weapons in Kashmir. There would be differences of opinion till the worldwide border is permanently settled but the Government of India is not apprehending any major trouble along the global border.

Sharma said that the Congress made its view clear that national security was the priority and advised the government to rise above politics and tackle the situation diplomatically.