New Delhi: Ignoring the government's advice to address the border dispute with China with restraint, opposition leader Mulayam Singh Yadav said in parliament today that Beijing is ready to attack India in collaboration with its long-time ally, Pakistan.
- China has buried nuclear weapons in Pak: Mulayam Singh in parliament
- China ready to attack India, he says, amid high tension at Sikkim border
- China says Indian troops "illegally transgressed" border; Delhi denies
"India is today facing a big danger from China. I have been cautioning the central government for years. China has joined hands with Pakistan. It has made full preparation to attack India," said the 77-year-old political leader from Uttar Pradesh about the confrontation between the Indian and Chinese armies that has extended beyond a month at the border in the mountainous state of Sikkim.
Mulayam Singh Yadav also claimed in the Lok Sabha that China has buried nuclear weapons in Pakistan to target India, though he ceded that Indian intelligence agencies "would know better".
He had shared a similar assessment on Friday when the government explained the details of the border dispute to opposition leaders. At the time, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said Defence Minister Arun Jaitley would look into his concerns.
Yesterday, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar told a group of about 20 parliamentarians from different parties that though China is being "unusually aggressive" in its handling of the border dispute, politicians should "take a deep breath" and know that Delhi is using diplomatic channels to seek a resolution.
China yesterday reiterated that Indian soldiers "illegally transgressed" the border on June 16 to stop Beijing's construction of a road on a plateau that it calls Donglang. Bhutan says the area - Dokalam - is actually a part of its kingdom; India has agreed with that claim and has said that it forewarned China that the road would be seen as "a serious security concern."
China has been holding elaborate military drills in Tibet to show off how it would take down enemy planes and tanks; its state-run media has urged the government to teach India "a bitter lesson" that would parallel the "humiliating defeat" of Delhi in the 1962 war that was fought over Arunachal Pradesh. Yesterday, the nationalist tabloid Global Times warned that China is battle-ready and India will face an "all-out confrontation" along the entire disputed border of nearly 3,500 kms if it does not withdraw its soldiers.
Mulayam Singh Yadav said India's stand on Tibet, a reference to its acceptance that the region was part of China, was a "mistake" and the time has come to support its independence.
Yesterday, Foreign Secretary Jaishankar told a parliamentary committee that includes Congress boss Rahlul Gandhi that though China is being atypically aggressive on this border dispute, the confrontation should not be blown out of proportion.
An MP from West Bengal raised the concerns shared earlier this week by Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of Bengal, who has accused the centre of mismanaging the confrontation and making her state vulnerable on account of its proximity to the "Chicken's Neck." The Foreign Secretary reportedly asked for the Chief Minister to be told that her accusations don't help at a time when India's stand on the border dispute must come across as cohesive and well-planned.