September 20, 2014 3:15:25 am
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday told Chinese President Xi Jinping that “peace and tranquility” on the border is “imperative”.
“We have to remain steadfast to resolve all issues as was agreed between the two countries earlier,” he told Xi. Hours later, his party slammed PM Narendra Modi for not “strongly” raising the issue of incursions, construction of dams on the Brahmaputra and Arunachal Pradesh.
The Congress delegation, led by party president Sonia Gandhi, Singh, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and senior party leaders Karan Singh and Anand Sharma met Xi on Friday. Sonia told Xi that a broad consensus existed across the political spectrum in India to strengthen its relationship with China.
Hours later, former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid criticised Modi for turning Xi’s visit into an “event” rather than addressing substantive issues. Khurshid said there was an attempt to “do event management of a visit” but it should not take away the “substance of what one needs to do with the visit.”
He said that while the issue of incursion was not easy to raise with Xi, who came on India’s invitation, “one does expect much higher standards of clarity from the Prime Minister. I think that message has not gone very clear”.
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