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Pakistan and US key factors in rebuilding India-China ties: Swamy

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(G.N.S) Dt. 18

Beijing

India and China can break fresh ground if Beijing re-works its relationship with Pakistan on terrorism, in tune with firm assurances from New Delhi regarding its ties with the United States, says senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Subramanian Swamy.

Dr. Swamy, who has concluded a visit to China, told media that there were two focal issues that came up during talks with his Chinese hosts. He said, India’s concerns on terrorism radiating from Pakistan had been firmly conveyed during his conversations. The Chinese side, on its part, highlighted its perception of India’s growing ties with the United States, within the framework of the Indo-Pacific quad grouping. Apart from India and the U.S., the quad includes Japan and Australia as partners.

Dr. Swamy insisted that he had expressed his personal opinions during his dialogue with his Chinese interlocutors, and had not relayed India’s official stance.

“First thing I focused was that we have a terror problem with Pakistan. And you [China] have a friendly relationship with Pakistan,” Dr. Swamy said.

He added: “I raised this question that it is very difficult to explain to the people of India that we [India and China] should have friendly and warm relations when on the face of it they [China] are friendly to a country [Pakistan] that is bleeding us through terror attacks.”

Dr. Swamy pointed out that India did not have a partner for talks with Pakistan, which, controlled by its seven corps commanders, were not inclined for a dialogue.

“After I expressed my view about terror and its links with Pakistan, they [the Chinese side] said they should be solved by talks. I said please tell me whom I should talk to in Pakistan. The civilians don’t matter. The military is happy that the terrorists are bleeding us. [I also] explained that the army itself really consists of seven corps commanders who control Pakistan.”

Dr. Swamy underscored that the Pakistani army was rapidly morphing into a “Jihadi army,” as its future top leadership — brigadiers and above —were committed to an extremist religious ideology. He stressed that in order to revive ties, India and China should open a high-level dialogue between their Foreign Ministers. These talks should link two issues: China’s response to India’s possible “drastic defensive strikes” on Pakistani terror camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), and concrete assurances from India regarding the future of its ties with Washington.

“In my opinion the improvement of relations between India and China could kick-start only if we have two agendas. That meeting should be conducted not by officials, but perhaps at the level of Foreign Ministers — Sushma Swaraj from our side and Wang Yi from their side.”

He added: “They should speak about an understanding on two issues. One from our side on what is the level of commitment of China to Pakistan in case we decide to take more drastic action beyond surgical strikes?”

Exploring China’s role

“We have to explore their [China’s] involvement, if any if India takes defensive actions on a large scale against Pakistan to destroy all the centers of terrorism in parts that really belong to us in PoK. I think this should be explored,” Dr. Swamy said.

“But it is linked to their satisfaction that we are not going to be part of any US-led alliance, like the Indo-Pacific. I also told them that we are clear that India will never be a junior partner of the Americans,” he added.

Asked whether he had proposed a “deal” between India and China, based on each country realigning its ties with Pakistan and the U.S., he said: “ I would not use the word ‘deal’. I would say that a good India-China understanding would come it they are mutually beneficial for both parties. I would say that one clear mutual benefit is that of an implicit understanding that if we take a drastic defensive action for their [Pakistan’s] terrorist attacks on India, they [China] would not respond aggressively for this purpose.”

On India’s part, “We should give an implicit understanding that if any dispute [arose] between United States and China; we will not become a party. It is a bilateral issue [between China and the U.S.], which they should resolve by talks.”

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