In a toughening of stance over the border stand-off with China, External Affairs Minister Salman Khursid may cancel his upcoming trip to Beijing, sources have told NDTV. Mr Khurshid is scheduled to visit China on May 9.
NDTV had reported yesterday that the government is "in two minds" about the trip. Sources now say that Mr Khurshid's visit will be called off if there is no concrete response from China in the next few days.
Signs of that were evident when Mr Khurshid, who is currently in Tehran, told NDTV that the government is not satisfied with the ongoing talks with China over the border stand-off, adding he couldn't "predict with certainty" whether he would be travelling to China. He also said that his present focus was the "return of status quo" in the Daulat Beg Oldie area in Ladakh where an adamant China has refused to pull out its troops that have set up camps there. He also added that he hoped for a positive response from Beijing and would be "disappointed" if the latter refused to budge.
The toughening of stance comes amid backing from key ally Mulayam Singh Yadav, who today said that the government now seemed serious about tackling the Chinese incursion in Ladakh. Mr Yadav, who heads the Samajwadi Party, had just days ago slammed the Centre over its weak and "cowardly" handling of the China episode. (Read)
A platoon of Chinese soldiers had slipped across the border in the middle of the night on April 15, while two helicopters provided cover. They have pitched five tents in the barren Depsang Valley.
China denies any incursion; its soldiers have refused to move back over the so-called Line of Actual Control. Three flag meetings between local army commanders from both sides have failed to broker a compromise. (Read: China stays put while India protests - foreign media)