K J M VARMA
BEIJING: Besides the border question, India and China discussed issues related to counterterrorism including Beijing’s blocking of India’s bid in the UN to ban Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said today.
Doval, who wrapped up the 19th round of the two-day boundary talks called on Chinese Premier Li Keqiang here and discussed the outcome of the discussion with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi.
Welcoming Doval, Li recalled his meeting with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar two days ago during which the both sides discussed the progress in bilateral ties.
“These meetings show smooth communication and close engagement between our two countries in political and security affairs. It also shows how both sides attach great deal of importance to ensure steady growth of China- India relations,” Li said.
Later in a brief chat with PTI, Doval said that in the border talks with Yang, the two sides discussed the boundary question and other issues like counterterrorism.
Asked whether Masood Azhar issue figured, he said: “Yes, obviously when terrorism is discussed”.
India in recent weeks was vocal about criticising China for putting a “technical hold” on India’s recent bid in the UN to bring about a ban on Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief Azhar for his involvement in the Pathankot terror attack.
Regarding Azhar, India’s UN Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin spoke of “hidden veto” at a meeting at an open debate in UNSC on ‘Threats to International Peace and Security Caused by Terrorist Acts’ in New York on April 16, while External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar called for a review of China’s decision to strike a common stand against terrorism in their meetings this week with their Chinese counterparts.
For its part, China continued to stick to its stand, saying that its decision is based on facts and fairness.
On the talks over boundary, Doval said both sides want peace and tranquillity at the borders.
About India’s emphasis that 3,488 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) be demarcated to prevent tensions between troops on both sides patrolling the area aggressively, Doval said New Delhi’s stand is the same for quite some time.
There is nothing new about the suggestions, he said.
Ahead of the talks, Parrikar told his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan that clarity over the LAC will bring down tensions between the troops on both sides which aggressively patrol the areas to assert their control.
“We are insisting it should be done in order to really ensure a very stable border as all the issues take place because of perception,” he said.
Marking the LAC is “one of the preconditions of smooth border operations. Without that everything goes by perceptions, which has caused problems sometimes”, Parrikar said.
This was highlighted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi both during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India in 2014 and his own trip here last year.