Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar today said the country should not be alarmed at Chinese troops violating the border in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, but it should be taken seriously with the government handling the issue at various levels, including diplomatic and political.
"We have a long history of border violations by Chinese troops. I don't think we should be alarmed, but we should certainly take this seriously and it should be handled simultaneously at the field, diplomatic and political level," Aiyar told PTI on the sidelines of the formal launch of Karnataka Regional Economic Trade Organisation (KRETO) here.
According to reports, the Chinese troops had violated the border areas of Barahoti grounds on July 19 when a team led by Chamoli District Magistrate and others, including officials from ITBP, went for a survey there.
The reports said the civilian team was sent back by Chinese People's Liberation Army troops, who claimed it to be their land.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat has termed the development as "something to worry about" hoping that Centre will pay heed to his request for increased vigil.
Aiyar said the agreement between India and China on maintaining peace and tranquillity at the border should be invoked and flag meetings between the commanders (of Army) of the two nations be held.
Chinese side had sent in a delegation on April 19, 1958 for negotiations with their Indian counterparts and both sides had agreed not to send troops into the area but had avoided a discussion on final settlement of the Barahoti ground.
Asked to assess Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts to normalise relations between India and Pakistan, Aiyar said the central government has been inconsistent and does not have a policy in this regard.
"I think the government has been completely inconsistent in its Pakistan policy, and that is probably because it doesn't have a Pakistan policy," he said.
He said it is regrettable that such an important relationship has been "mishandled", thereby giving opportunities to anti-India elements in Pakistan to take advantage of tension between two countries.