India has said "diplomatic options" are being used to help resolve the conflict with China
New Delhi: Leading political parties on Friday backed the government's approach to resolve the month-long stand-off with China at the Sikkim border diplomatically and peacefully, reassuring the NDA government that the parties would rise above politics on matters of national security. Home Minister Rajnath Singh had convened the all party meeting to bring the opposition up to speed on the Sikkim stand-off and the terrorist attack on Amarnath Yatris this week that killed 7 people. The government is seeking to build support for its action ahead of the monsoon session of parliament that begins on Monday.
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Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma stressed on attempts to de-escalate the situation at the border so that peace is maintained. "We conveyed our concerns to the government and proposed diplomacy be employed to ease tensions," Mr Sharma told reporters.
The Congress has, however, made it clear that they would still debate the stand-off and Amarnath Yatra attack when parliament begins. "That is what parliament is meant for. It is the highest forum for discussion and debate," Mr Anand Sharma said.
China has been warning that it will not allow any resolution without India withdrawing its soldiers from what it claims is its territory. India has so far refused, stressing on dialogue to resolve the stand-off.
The dispute is located at the tri-junction of India, Tibet and Bhutan and began early in June. China says Indian soldiers crossed into its territory to stop its army from building a road in an area it calls Donglang.
India and Bhutan say the road is being built on a part of the Dokolam plateau that belongs not to China but to the tiny Himalayan kingdom.
India had warned China that the road was a serious security concern because it gives Beijing access to the "Chicken's Neck"- a thin wedge that links mainland India with its seven north-eastern states.
The lawmakers were also briefed about the Amarnath Yatra attack, the steps taken by the government to secure the pilgrims and including deployment of over 20,000 soldiers for guarding the route of the pilgrimage.
Derek O'Brien of the Trinamool Congress, however, said they didn't get the clear answers that the opposition was looking for. "If they knew about this (attack), why did they not act? Why did the government fail. These are the hard questions we asked," he said.