End face-off peacefully: Sushma

"War cannot resolve problems. So wisdom is to resolve diplomatically.”

August 03, 2017 07:54 pm | Updated December 03, 2021 12:37 pm IST - New Delhi

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday that “war was not a solution,” referring to the ongoing standoff with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army at Doklam, adding that “wisdom was to resolve issues diplomatically.”

Ms. Swaraj said “patience” was the need of the hour and India was not going to use any “aggressive language” in its response to the standoff at the Bhutan-India-China tri-junction. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has in the past one month issued strong statements and warned India not to have any “impractical illusions,” adding it was “easier to shake a mountain than the PLA.”

“We should be prepared for war, but war is not a solution. Even after the war, you have to sit for a dialogue. So why not look for a way out without going to war. We don’t want to win our neighbours by military power but by being an economic superpower. It is a reality that China has invested $160 billion in India, while three years ago it was $140 billion,” Ms. Swaraj said, responding to a statement by Opposition leaders during a short duration discussion on India’s foreign policy and engagement with strategic partners.


Sharad Yadav of JD(U), which is an ally of the BJP in Bihar, praised former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for “cleverly annexing Sikkim with Russia’s help” but accused the current government of being a “stooge of the U.S.” Sitaram Yechury of the CPI(M) said that in the past three years, India had been reduced to a “junior strategic ally of the U.S.”

Anand Sharma of the Congress said that after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met U.S. President Donald Trump, there was a missive from the PMO to the revenue department to reduce import duty on Harley Davidson motorcycles but there was no assurance on the H1B visas, which would hurt a large number of Indian professionals working in the U.S.


Responding to the charges, Ms. Swaraj said there was no drop in the number of H1b visas for Indians and it had remained intact at 65,000 since 2004, when the UPA was in power. She said that within an hour of Mr. Trump’s statement that India’s participation in the Paris climate deal was contingent on receiving “billions of dollars” in aid, Mr. Modi issued a statement that “we were not dependent on doles given by anyone.” “Modi has the power to challenge the U.S.,” she said.

D. Raja of the CPI asked India to resume dialogue with Pakistan. Ms Swaraj said relations with Pakistan soured not after the terrorist attack at the Pathankot airbase in January 2016 but after Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter in July the same year.

“Pakistan did not go into denial after the attack at the Pathankot airbase and assured help in investigations. It was after Burhan Wani was killed, when former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif described him as a freedom fighter…we decided that terror and talks cannot go together. They should stop terror for the dialogue to resume,” she said.

Attacks Rahul

She attacked Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for holding secret meetings with the Chinese ambassador. “When China attacked India in 1962, Atal Bihari Vajpayee wrote a letter to the then PM Jawaharlal Nehru to call a special session of Parliament and the latter obliged. What did the Congress VP do? He should have understood the Indian government’s stand before listening to the Chinese ambassador,” she said.

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