India’s Minister for External Affairs S M Krishna is visiting Beijing on April 5 to mark the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and China, but says his four-day visit will not be focussed on any specific issue like border dispute. ‘There will be a general discussion on the over all bilateral relations’, he maintains.
Border dispute may not necessarily come up for discussion during his meetings. There is a mechanism in place to address the issue, he said, while fielding a question on the subject during a media interaction in Bengaluru on Monday, Mar 29. He added that the resolution of the dispute would take a long time since the long border was not demarcated fully yet. ‘It’s a long boundary. It’s not demarcated. So, it’s going to take quite a bit of time (for resolution of the boundary dispute)’.
Answering a related query, the Minister remarked: ‘There has not been any problem on the boundary issue. I think they have maintained tranquillity on the border and we intend to continue maintaining that tranquil atmosphere’.
On growing Sino-Pak ties, Krishna said it is something which is left to them. ‘But as far as India is concerned, we have a strategic dialogue with China. We intend to continue it, and we hope that China would reciprocate’.
The Indian Minister doesn’t share Pakistan’s perception that it has more stakes in Afghanistan than India. He said there would be no dilution in India’s basic commitment to develop the infrastructure of the war-torn nation.
‘As far as India is concerned, we have civilisational links, historical trade links with Afghanistan and we have taken up constructive engagement with them. We are trying to improve their infrastructure, and that’s our basic commitment to Afghanistan. We will continue to do that’.
On Pakistan Army Chief and ISI head being part of US-Pak strategic dialogue, Krishna said India was monitoring these developments. ‘Even earlier they were part of NATO and “other regional alliances with USA in the lead…. So, that’s their concern. But we (India) are monitoring all these developments’.
During his stay in Beijing, Krishna will inaugurate the Festival of India in China.