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CDS’ remarks on Quad engagement ‘unwarranted’, CPI tells PM Modi

Binoy Viswam.  

The remarks of the Chief of Defence Staff on the India-U.S.-Australia-Japan quadrilateral are ‘unwarranted’ and run counter to India’s stated position, CPI MP Binoy Viswam said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday. He also asked the PM to clarify the CDS’ comments and lay out the country’s position.

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On Thursday, CDS General Bipin Rawat had said India believes that Quad engagement was a good mechanism to ensure there is “no fear of any nation singularly trying to dominate the oceans”, in what observers saw as a veiled reference to China. Gen. Rawat also indicated India’s imminent participation in the Quad’s military patrols in the Indo-Pacific area.

In his letter, Mr. Viswam noted that the situation along the Line of Actual Control on the India-China border is “extremely tense and precarious”.

“At a time when the Defence Minister and External Affairs Minister are engaged in diplomatic strategies to bring about peace with their Chinese counterparts, the comments of the CDS require urgent clarification,” said the letter. “Peace and stability between India and its neighbours must be achieved through diplomatic means and officials and representatives must exercise constraint on matters that might escalate the situation.”

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The CPI leader noted that in 2018, Mr. Modi had himself said India sees the Indo-Pacific as a “geographical concept”, not a “strategy or a club of limited members”. Similarly, the External Affairs Minister had said India would never be a part of an alliance system.

“The comments of the CDS run counter to this stated position,” said Mr. Viswam’s letter. “In such precarious times, it is incumbent on you to clarify these comments and lay forth the position of the government on its involvement in the QUAD engagement,” he told the PM.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 12:15:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cds-remarks-on-quad-engagement-unwarranted-cpi-tells-pm/article32531166.ece

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