AS THE government prepares to brief top opposition leaders about the stand-off with China on Doklam plateau, the CPM Thursday said Bhutan is no more a “protectorate” of India and it is better New Delhi let Bhutan take the lead in negotiating with China. The party said “extraneous factors must not be allowed to interfere in the quest for better relations between the two neighbours in Asia.”
An editorial in CPM mouthpiece People’s Democracy said that while there have been periodical instances of disagreement between India and China on the border in the past years, the present stand-off has assumed more serious proportions. This, it said, is because of deterioration in the overall relations between the countries. It pointed out that the Narendra Modi government has also increased the profile of the Dalai Lama and the so-called Tibetan provisional government.
“It must be underlined that Bhutan has been negotiating with China directly on its border issues since the year 1984. It is better that India let Bhutan take the lead in negotiating with China on the Doklam Plateau and other disputed territories. India can lend support to Bhutan’s position,” it said.