Govt briefs oppn leaders on China, Kashmir


Leaders of prominent parties are present at the meeting where Swaraj and Singh will give a presentation on the Kashmir and China situation.

Apart from these two senior Ministers, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar were among those who briefed the political parties. Rajiv Gauba, who will take over as Home Secretary on August 30, was also present.

He said all participants expressed strong support for India's approach and also the need for national unity. "They have given an opportunity and opened a door that we can show our sympathy along with the whole nation and that we are against the militants", Azad said.

Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien said the party raised "some serious questions" on Amarnath terror attack and claimed that the government did not have answers on preparedness.

The party asked the government to share "full information about the background and situation that exists on India-China as also on the Bhutan border". "On behalf of the CPM, I told the government that there is a need for them to get to the depth of the reasons for the provocation, the changes in the government's policy with China, India's growing strategic ties with USA, and the joint military naval exercise along with the United States and Japan in the South China sea", Yechury said.

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On Jammu and Kashmir, government's chief spokesman Frank Noronha said the basic objective of the meeting was to apprise the MPs from different parties of the situation following the attack on Amarnath yatris on July 10.

China has repeatedly told India to withdraw its troops from the area for the month-long stand-off to end. China and India have been engaged in the standoff in the Dokalam area for the past three weeks after a Chinese Army's construction party attempted to build a road.

After the meeting, Sitaram Yechury of the CPI (M) said the government assured them that "they'll tackle the situation through dialogue".

During the all-party meeting, the Congress demanded that the Modi government take the Opposition into confidence. The meeting will only be on the developments on the India-China-Bhutan borders. Four districts of the state - Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian and Anantnag - have been on the boil since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8, 2016. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had earlier this week accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of pursuing policies that created space for terrorists in Kashmir. The unrest has resumed since the April 9 bypoll to the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat.

After the meeting, Yechury said the opposition appreciated the government's assurance that it is committed to settling issues with China diplomatically.