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Updated: October 21, 2009 22:34 IST

Border dispute with China will be resolved amicably: Pranab

PTI
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Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee: “I am quite confident that all border disputes will be resolved through discussions, amicably.”
File photo: PTI
Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee: “I am quite confident that all border disputes will be resolved through discussions, amicably.” File photo: PTI

India on Wednesday expressed confidence that the boundary dispute with China will be resolved amicably through dialogue.

Downplaying the recent war of words with China, India on Wednesday expressed confidence that the boundary dispute will be resolved amicably through dialogue.

These recriminations over the border are “not sudden,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told PTI while pointing out that such issues had cropped up earlier also.

Mr. Mukherjee, who held the External Affairs Ministry portfolio in the previous UPA government, disagreed when it was suggested that China had been “strident” recently while India’s response was being perceived as soft.

“Whenever they make any comment, our response is measured and as it should be. This is not the first time we’ve had Chinese comments on the Prime Minister’s visit to Arunachal. And even after that comment was made, I visited Arunachal. After coming from there, I said that Arunachal is an integral part of India,” he said.

“When I first visited Tawang, some of the Chinese newspapers brought out the story that India’s Foreign Minister is visiting Southern Tibet,” Mr. Mukherjee said. On China’s objections to Dr. Singh’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, Mr. Mukherjee said: “The Prime Minister is the leader of the ruling party. Therefore, it is quite appropriate that he will go and canvass for his party candidates [during elections].”

Mr. Mukherjee said that after India became a Republic, Arunachal had been sending its elected representatives to Parliament regularly.

“...now, everybody has the liberty to make comment. But as far as the international law of standard and practices [goes], we respond the way we should respond and we have responded. That is the practice in India. That is the practice in every parliamentary form in any part of the world,” he said.

On Ambani gas row

Referring to the Ambani gas dispute, he hoped that Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani would be able to sort out their differences amicably for the Indian market’s sake, but said no one could say what would happen.

“I do not know what would happen because they are too big. They have substantial influence over the Indian market. Therefore, it is better that they sort out the issue among themselves, amicably. But after all, it is for them to decide,” he said when asked if he saw the dispute being resolved out of court. “We may express our views and desires, but I do not know what will happen.”

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