'Chinese intrusion no big deal’

The United Progressive Alliance ( UPA) continues to downplay the Chinese incursion into Indian territory in Ladakh. If one were to believe minister of state (MoS) for home RPN Singh, the presence of Chinese troops inside the Indian territory for 15 days and the attempt at grabbing 19 km of land cannot even be called an incursion.

Speaking on the Seedhi Baat programme on Aaj Tak, Singh shockingly ended up giving China the benefit of doubt and explained that India’s claim on the territory was “ a matter of perception”. “ The Chinese think we are intruding into their territory. Forty Chinese soldiers camping in four tents is not an intrusion. We think it’s our territory.

It’s a matter of perception. It’s an over 4000- km un- demarcated border,” the minister said.

Singh even ruled out the possibility of deploying the army by asserting that it wasn’t a fullfledged incursion.

Talks

“ The army will be deployed only when there’s an incursion. Talks are on and the stand- off will be resolved through diplomacy,” he said.

Singh’s views echoed Union external affairs minister Salman Khurshid’s comparing the Chinese incursion as mere “ pimples on the face”. “ It’s not a Chinese invasion. It’s a localised problem and should not be blown out of proportion. Our foreign minister is going to Beijing and the Chinese premier will be visiting us soon. The issue will be resolved soon,” he said.

Singh also refused to be drawn into a debate on the nature of Indian response if Pakistanis had intruded 19 km inside our territory.

“ The border with Pakistan is demarcated, fenced and lit. There’s no controversy on this,” he said.

Instead of offering a strong response on China, the minister of state for home saved his aggression for attacking the Opposition parties for demanding the resignation of P. C. Chacko, the chairman of the JPC on 2G spectrum scam.

“ When the JPC was formed to investigate the 2G scam, the BJP should have known about its statutory, legal framework and functioning? Why are they calling it the Congress- dominated JPC? If they have a problem, they should raise it in Parliament. The BJP has paralysed Parliament. When Parliament itself has lost its importance for the Opposition party, what’s the significance of JPC?” Singh asked.

Despite a huge embarrassment for the government after the CBI affidavit in Supreme Court confirmed that the status report had been shared with Union law minister Ashwani Kumar, Singh put up a brave face on behalf of the government.

“ No changes were made in the status report by the law minister. The CBI is an independent body and there’s no interference from the government.

The law minister just tried to ensure that the report did not have any legal loopholes. The matter is sub judice,” the minister said.

CHINA WANTS PEACEFUL SOLUTION

CHINA on Sunday took note of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s remarks over its People’s Liberation Army’s incursion into the Depsang valley and said it is willing to work with New Delhi to deal with differences while maintaining peace at borders and forging strategic cooperative partnership. It said while actively developing friendly cooperation in recent years, China and India have committed themselves to settling disputes, including the boundary issue, through peaceful negotiation.