Status quo in Doklam, Bhutan firmly with India, government tells Parliamentary panel

New Delhi :  There has been a status quo in Doklam ever since the stand-off with China was defused in August last year and Bhutan still firmly stands with India, senior government officials told a parliamentary panel on Thursday.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, that met on Thursday, was briefed by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra on various aspects of the India-China relations with a focus on Doklam.

The Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a standoff for two-and-a-half months in Doklam in the Sikkim sector starting June 16 last year after India objected to the building of a road in the disputed tri-junction by the Chinese Army.

Sources privy to the discussion in the meeting said the senior officials termed as “hypothetical” apprehensions raised by Congress President Rahul Gandhi and some others as to what would be India’s position if Bhutan agreed to transfer some land to China in the Doklam region in exchange for territory in another area.

They said Bhutan stood “firmly” with India.

Gandhi, who is a member of the panel, also enquired about reports of a “major Chinese buildup near Doklam”. The officials, however, said that there is status quo since the stand off, that nothing has been done in the Indian territory and the two countries are continuing cooperation.

Earlier, the Committee was also briefed by former Army chief Deepak Kapoor, former Indian ambassador to China Nalin Surie and retired army officer Col Vinayak Bhat on Sino-India relations including the Doklam issue, border situation and cooperation in international organisations.


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