Congress MP Manish Tewari said in a tweet that since September 2020 till now, the Lok Sabha Secretariat has refused to answer seventeen questions about the India-China border dispute, citing national security. He said that there are many other such questions, which the government is not answering.
New Delhi: Congress MP Manish Tewari said on Monday that since September 2020 till now, the Lok Sabha Secretariat has refused to answer 17 questions asked on the India-China border dispute, citing national security.
He said that there are many other such questions, which the government is not answering.
According to the report, Tiwari has tweeted attaching a list of these questions asked date-wise and has tagged Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu.
He said, ‘Since April, 2020, there has not been a single concrete discussion on China. Are we still a democracy?’
Out of the list of 17 questions shared by Tiwari, the maximum 10 questions were asked from the Defense Ministry. At the same time, five of these questions were asked from the Union Home Ministry. The remaining one question was asked from the Ministry of External Affairs and one question was asked from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
Snap Shot of 17 questions on Sino- Indian Border Situation disallowed by Lok Sabha Secritariat on specious grounds of National Security. There are many more.
Not one substantive discussion on China since April 2020.
— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) December 20, 2021
It is known that during the skirmish on 15 June 2020 in Galwan Valley of Ladakh, 20 Indian Army personnel were martyred. Later China also admitted that five of its military officers and soldiers had died in this incident. This was the most violent clash on the India-China border in nearly 45 years.
Situations of a standoff on the border between the Indian and Chinese armies started building up from May 5 last year, after which there was a violent clash between soldiers on both sides in the Pangong Lake area. After this, both sides had deployed thousands of soldiers and heavy weapons and munitions on the border.
There were several skirmishes between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh since early May last year after Indian troops detected Chinese incursions beyond the point of normal patrolling along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
During the ongoing conflict between the two countries, the first conflict took place in the Galwan Valley on the night of May 5-6, 2020. After this, there was a conflict on the northern bank of Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh on May 10-11, 2020 near ‘Fingers 4’.
China had built a paved road and defensive posts till ‘Finger 4. Earlier, Indian soldiers used to patrol regularly till ‘Finger 8’, but after the encroachment by China, the patrol of Indian soldiers was limited to ‘Finger 4’.
India claims that the Line of Actual Control passes through ‘Finger 8’, while China claims that it is located on ‘Finger 2’.
For the last several months, the leaders of the opposition have been questioning the government regarding this matter. There have been many such reports that China is constantly trying to interfere in the Indian border.
These questions included many issues related to China and the situation on the border. Some questions were related to the occupation of Indian territory and Chinese incursions and encroachments, while others were related to Indian soldiers martyred in the conflict, restoration process, LAC and China’s nuclear program etc.
However, the government refused to answer all these questions.
Answered 18 questions on China in Lok Sabha after September 2020
Looking at the records of the total questions asked on China in the Lok Sabha after September 2020, it is known that the government has answered on 18 questions in the meantime. These questions were related to issues like shifting production from China to India, imports from China and construction on the India-China border.
Some questions asked by Tiwari were also answered, including topics like ‘China building dams’ and ‘virtual meeting with China’.
The Ministry of External Affairs replied to a question on ‘Discussions on the India-China Border’ on September 16, 2020 in which they said:
From April-May this year, the Chinese side has increased the deployment of troops and military weapons in the border areas and along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the western sector. Since mid-May, the Chinese side attempted to cross the LAC in several areas of the western sector of the India-China border region. These efforts have always received an appropriate response from our side.
The statement further said: ‘Both sides engaged in discussions through established military and diplomatic channels to resolve issues arising out of such efforts.’
Referring to the Galwan Valley conflict, it was said that:
A meeting of senior commanders was held on 6 June 2020 and both sides agreed on the procedure for disengagement. Thereafter, several meetings of ground commanders were held to implement the consensus reached at the higher level.
However, the Chinese side withdrew from this consensus to respect the LAC and tried to unilaterally change the status quo, resulting in a violent face-off in the late evening and night of 15 June 2020. There were casualties on both sides, which could have been avoided had the Chinese side faithfully followed the agreement reached at the level of senior commanders.
Referring to the subsequent deliberations, it was stated:
“As soon as the situation returns to normal, both sides should expedite new measures to maintain peace in the border areas.” Accordingly, it is expected that the meetings of military and diplomatic officials will continue between the two sides to implement the agreements between the two Foreign Ministers and to ensure full restoration of peace in the border areas.
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