Pak envoy Abdul Basit wades into Doklam row, meets China and Bhutan ambassadors

While all three are tightlipped on the meetings, one of them told The Indian Express Friday, “What (is the) issue? Diplomats meet routinely.” Asked if the Doklam issue was discussed at the meeting, he said, “We discuss all issues.”

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: July 25, 2017 9:45 am
Pakistan, Doklam, Abdul basit, Bhutan, China, India, Sikkim, India China doklam Doklam standoff: Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit in Delhi. (Source: Express photo by Renuka Puri)

A month into the border standoff between India and China at the tri-junction with Bhutan, Pakistan’s envoy Abdul Basit has waded into the Doklam row. The High Commissioner is learnt to have met the Chinese and Bhutanese envoys in New Delhi this week. While it is not unusual for the envoys to meet in New Delhi, the timing of these meetings has raised eyebrows in South Block.

The meeting between Basit, who is likely to leave for Islamabad soon, and Chinese ambassador Luo Zhaohui took place Wednesday, sources said. The meeting was at the request of Basit. A day later, on Thursday, the Pakistan High Commissioner met Bhutan’s ambassador Major General Vetsop Namgyel. This meeting too was at Basit’s request.

While all three are tightlipped on the meetings, one of them told The Indian Express Friday, “What (is the) issue? Diplomats meet routinely.” Asked if the Doklam issue was discussed at the meeting, he said, “We discuss all issues.”
These meetings have been noticed by South Block, which is keeping a close watch on the developments within the diplomatic circuit. South Block too witnessed a major change on its China desk. The new joint secretary, in charge of China, is Pranay Verma. He took charge Friday as head of the East Asia division Friday, and comes with a formidable reputation on China.

He was India’s Chinese interpreter for Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee between 2000 and 2004 — since he was the best in his batch in Mandarin speech and writing. Verma, who replaced Pradeep Rawat, has served in the Indian mission in Hong Kong (1996-98), Beijing (2000-2004), and was Deputy Secretary in the MEA (looking after India’s relations with China and East Asia). He is expected to lead India’s diplomatic negotiations.

He had been in the Department of Atomic Energy as Joint Secretary (External Relations) since October 2014. Rawat leaves for Indonesia as India’s envoy.

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  1. S
    Surya Prakash Sharma
    Jul 23, 2017 at 7:44 am
    CHINA has picked up from Pakistan the art of passing gas from the mouth instead of from behind. FOUL SMELL ALL AROUND.
    1. A
      Anand Ch
      Jul 23, 2017 at 7:01 am
      This man's actions are irritating. He should be asked to packed off.
      1. N
        Namasivayam Chokkalingam
        Jul 23, 2017 at 4:14 am
        For all that bin Laden did and vowed to do to USA, the army of Pakistan took care of him so tenderly in its lap for more than five years. Mr. Obama's Navy Seals put an end to his life. Mr. O did this as it would help him reelected. But he would not initiate steps to stop funding Pakistan. After all, he was born to and brought up by Muslims in his boyhood, though his mother was a Muslim-loving Christian. ONLY NOW DOES USA TAKE A MORALLY RIGHT ACTION.
        1. S
          Jul 23, 2017 at 3:57 am
          Is it normal, permissible by law and acceptable for a second country's top diplomat to meet with the diplomats of a third country, in the host country's soil? Have the ambassadors/HCs of our other neighbors Bangla Desh, Sri Lanka, Burma etc., met with Chinese and Bhutanese ambassadors on Indian soil? If not, Basit has crossed the diplomatic norms and must be faulted.
          1. A
            Jul 22, 2017 at 6:03 pm
            He may be meeting the HURYAT ,HIZBUL.NAXALITES .NX.and UPA political parties with different point of view compared to BJP. His job is to fish into the troubled waters.
            1. D
              Jul 22, 2017 at 2:53 pm
              Pakistan Ambassador must be trying his best before going back home. Chinese Ambassador had a meeting with Rahul Gandhi and Ambassador's wife had meeting with Bhutanese king's mother on the same issue. Let there be meetings and meetings, India will not budge from Doka La and Bhutan's territory already encroached by China must be vacated first before any talks with China has to take place. Talks will take place only after status quo is maintained as of 2012 agreement with China by Bhutan.
              1. R
                Jul 22, 2017 at 2:21 pm
                No wonder. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread,
                1. L
                  Jul 22, 2017 at 12:05 pm
                  Breaking News.....Pakistan has approached United nations to rename their country's name to Porkistan.....also requested to rename lahore to la whor e...Karachi to karachhe...islamabad to Shi t lamabad...peshawar to pi ssawar .....Rawalpindi to ra holera ndi......
                  1. O
                    Omar Sadiq
                    Jul 22, 2017 at 12:37 pm
                    India not only named Bombay to Mumbai but now have renamed it to BUMbay. Madras to Maa ki raat. Chennai to Chana chor, Delhi to Rape hi. Goa to Gaa nd. List is endless but Ganga to Cow water.
                    1. M
                      Jul 22, 2017 at 2:11 pm
                      chinese saaru pi hai?
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