India-Pakistan relations are bilateral in nature, no scope for involvement of third country: MEA tells China


New Delhi: India on Monday said that matters related to India-Pakistan relations are purely bilateral in nature and there is no scope for an involvement of any third country. India’s reaction came after Chinese envoy Luo Zhaohui endorsed a trilateral cooperation among India, China and Pakistan.

Batting for a trilateral cooperation between India, China and Pakistan under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Luo had said that it could “in the future” help resolve bilateral issues between New Delhi and Islamabad and help maintain peace.

In response to queries on the comments made by the Chinese ambassador to India, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that India had not received any such suggestion from the Chinese government. “We have seen reports on comments made by the Chinese Ambassador in this matter. We have not received any such suggestion from the Chinese government. We consider the statement as the personal opinion of the ambassador. Matters related to India-Pakistan relations are purely bilateral in nature and have no scope for an involvement of any third country,” he said, PTI reported.

Delivering a keynote address on ‘Beyond Wuhan – How far and fast can China-India relations go’ at an event organised by the Chinese embassy, Luo had said earlier on Monday that “some Indian friends” had suggested a trilateral summit comprising India, China and Pakistan, which was a “very constructive” idea. Leaders of China, Russia and Mongolia hold a similar meet, he had noted. “This is a proposal suggested by some Indian friends and it is a very a good and constructive idea. Maybe not now, but in the future, that is a great idea,” Luo had said.

Some Indian friends suggested that India, China & Pakistan may have some kind of trilateral summit on the sidelines of SCO. So, if China, Russia & Mongolia can have a trilateral summit, then why not India, China & Pakistan?: Luo Zhaohui, Chinese Ambassador to India

— ANI (@ANI) June 18, 2018

Dwelling on Sino-Indian ties, he had said it was quite natural to have differences but they need to be controlled and managed through cooperation. “We need to control, manage, narrow differences through expanding cooperation. The boundary question was left over by history. We need to find a mutually acceptable solution through Special Representatives’ Meeting while adopting confidence-building measures,” he said. “We cannot stand another Doklam (sic),” the envoy had added.

We cannot stand another Doklam incident. Let’s make a joint effort to maintain peace along the border: Luo Zhaohui, Chinese Ambassador to India

— ANI (@ANI) June 18, 2018

Indian and Chinese troops were involved in a 73-day stand-off at the Doklam tri-junction of India, Bhutan and China between June to August 2017. One of the immediate fallouts of the Doklam stand-off was the suspension of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra from Nathu-La side and the annual military exercise between the two countries. China also did not give the hydrological data of the Brahmaputra and the Indus river that originates in Chinese Tibet. Luo said on Monday that China will continue to promote religious exchanges and make arrangements for Indian pilgrims going to Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet.

Post-Doklam, there have been frequent high-level engagements between the leaders of the two countries. In 2018 alone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have met twice in the last two months in Wuhan and Qingdao.

Qingdao: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping. The two leaders also held a bilateral meeting. #China

— ANI (@ANI) June 9, 2018

Luo noted that security cooperation is one of the three pillars of the SCO, an eight-member grouping also comprising India, China and Pakistan. The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the Presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became its members in 2017.

(With PTI inputs)