India, China maintaining military & diplomatic engagements to peacefully resolve border standoff: MEA

External Affairs Ministry today said that India and China are maintaining their military and diplomatic engagements to peacefully resolve the border standoff at the earliest to ensure peace and tranquility in the border areas. Replying to a query on India-China border issue, External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Anurag Srivastava said, this is essential for the further development of India-China bilateral relations.

Mr Srivastava said, a meeting was held between the Corps Commanders of India and China on 6th of this month in the Chushul-Moldo region. This meeting was in continuation of the diplomatic and military engagements which both sides have maintained to address the situation in areas along the India-China border. He said, it was agreed that an early resolution of the situation would be in keeping with the guidance of the leaders. Mr Srivastava also said that India deeply values its cultural and friendly relations with Nepal. The multi-faceted bilateral partnership has expanded and diversified in the recent years with increased focus and enhanced India’s assistance on humanitarian, development and connectivity projects in Nepal.

Mr Srivastava said, India has been reaching out to friendly neighbouring countries including Nepal, in line with Prime Minister’s initiative to chart out a common strategy to combat COVID-19 in the region. India has extended all possible technical, medical and humanitarian assistance to Nepal. He informed that India has supplied about 25 tonnes of medical aid to Nepal including Paracetamol and Hydroxychloroquine medicine, test kits and other medical supplies. He said, Indian Government has also ensured that there is no untoward disruption in trade and supply of essential goods to Nepal, despite the lockdown on both sides. India has also helped in repatriation of Nepalese nationals stranded abroad on humanitarian grounds.

Replying to a query pertaining to the Report on International Religious Freedom for 2019 published by the United States Department of State, Mr Srivastava said, the report is published annually by the department as part of its legal requirement to the US Congress and is an internal document of the US Government. He said, India’s vibrant democratic traditions and practices are evident to the world. He added that the people and Government of India are proud of country’s democratic traditions. He said, India has a robust public discourse and constitutionally mandated institutions that guarantee protection of religious freedom and rule of law. He said, there is no locus standi for a foreign entity to pronounce on the state of Indian citizens’ constitutionally protected rights.

On Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer to help India in cash transfer programme, the Spokesman said, Pakistan is better known for making cash transfers to bank accounts outside the country rather than giving to its own people. He said, the Pak PM needs a new set of Advisers and better information. He said, everybody knows about their debt problem and how much they have pressed for debt restructuring. He said, Pakistan should remember that India has a stimulus package which is as large as Pakistan’s annual Gross Domestic Product.