New Delhi, April 30 (IANS) Dismissing talk of softness in approach in the stand-off with China, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Tuesday said both sides have a mechanism to amicably resolve border incidents and the Indian government had a “very determined view” that its perception of the LAC is preserved and any violation “put right”.
In an interview to NDTV news channel, Khurshid said India shares a “much larger relationship with China” and the world is looking at both countries as the future of not only Asia but of “a vibrant more successful world of tomorrow”.
“We don’t want to be dogs in the manger because someone’s jingoism has to be satisfied, we don’t need certificates of patriotic zeal from anyone,” said Khurshid, referring to criticism of what is perceived as the government’s “soft” approach in dealing with the border incursion by Chinese troops in Depsang area of Ladakh.
He said India is confident that the mechanism in place, including flag meetings by local army commanders, would be able to resolve the stand-off.
“…we don’t want to be distracted by issues thrust” into for what is “for us a very clear perspective and clear determined view that we must ensure what our perception is of the LAC (Line of Actual Control), is preserved and that any violation of that perception is put right.”
He dismissed as his critics’ “inability to understand diplomatic language and gestures” their attacking his comparison of the border incident to acne that can be soothed with ointment.
Such criticism, he said, does not deserve a response.
When the metaphor was taken forward and he was told if reports of Chinese troops setting up more tents there could be compared to a “full-fledged acne eruption”, Khurshid, answering in the same vein, said: “Depends how scratchy you feel. I think the scratching that one sees is not so much about China, but is about us, our government having the competence, composure, confidence, ability and determination to resolve, what should be, and we believe will be, resolved.”
Khurshid, who is going to Beijing May 9, told the channel: “Whether I am soft or harsh or hard, the job is to talk to China and ensure the mechanism we have in place for years effectively we get and are able to do what we want to do. It is not my job to engage with the BJP, when the job is done effectively (I) will report to people.”
“We live in a region that is tough, we are three nuclear powers in the region, and that is not something we should lose sight of when we plan every step that we take. Responsibility comes with power, and those who do not understand the responsibility that India has perhaps don’t know the power that we have,” he added.
On April 15, a Chinese platoon set up camp 19 km inside Indian territory in Depsang Valley in Ladakh.
India has tried through meetings with local military commanders and through diplomatic channels to get China to vacate the spot. China insists that it has not intruded into Indian territory.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that India does not want to “accentuate the situation” and that it is a “localized problem”.