AS INDIA and China agreed to “expeditious disengagement” of border personnel at Doklam, Opposition Congress on Monday lauded the truce, saying there has been “maturity and wisdom” in reaching the understanding. The Congress said it was in the interest of both New Delhi and Beijing not to allow the situation to develop into a military conflict. The Left parties also welcomed the development.
The Congress, however, cautioned against claiming victory, saying that the matter should be treated with “gravitas and maturity”. “It is a wrong attitude to claim victory,” said senior Congress leader Anand Sharma. “Jingoism and euphoria can be counter-productive and can create complications which sometimes are difficult to control.”
At the AICC briefing, party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said, “Just like you should not go into panic mode as soon as something happens… we should not go into rejoicing mode the moment a comment is received. I can only hope that this information which is coming is true, at least in the medium term if not long term, and the other conflicting information (that China would continue to patrol the area) is untrue.” He said, “China has been historically patrolling that area. So for China to claim they will continue to patrol the area, or for India to say that we will continue to patrol our borders is but normal practice. We should not read too much into it. What is important is…good sense appears to be prevailing.” The Congress said it would wait for the government to reveal the contours of the agreement.
Sharma said it was expected that a serious attempt would be made to end the standoff before the BRICS summit. “The two countries are large neighbours and big emerging economic powers… therefore, it is in the mutual interest of India and China not to allow a situation to develop into a military conflict. So there has been maturity and wisdom in reaching this understanding.”
The party said both countries should continue engaging with each other to find a permanent solution “in the light of the 2012 agreement between India, Bhutan and China about location of the trilateral junction and an agreement to maintain status quo.” CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said: “We welcome the disengagement at Doklam, ending current tensions. We call upon the government to concentrate on strengthening good neighbourly ties.”
CPI leader D Raja said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called him and informed about the development. “We have been consistently saying that there should be a meaningful engagement and a dialogue to end the standoff as early as possible. Today it has come to an end. It reflects maturity of both countries.”
G V L Narasimha Rao of the BJP said, “We have all along said the situation must be resolved through diplomatic engagement. The manner in which it has been resolved shows political sagacity.”