Veto Lies With Pak on Solution to Indo-China Border Issue: Natwar Singh

New Delhi
Veto Lies With Pak on Solution to Indo-China Border Issue: Natwar Singh

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's proposed visit to China next month, former External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh today said that it is Pakistan which would have the veto on a "final solution" to the Sino- Indian border issue.

"China-India relations are tied up with Sino-Pakistan relations. In a final decision on the Sino-Indian border resolution, Pakistan will have the veto. That is the reality," Singh said.

He was speaking at a discussion here at United Services Institute of India on the book, 'India-China Boundary Issues - Quest for Settlement', authored by former ambassador Ranjit Singh Kalha, who had led the Indian side for the India-China Boundary Sub-Group negotiations from 1985 to 1988.

Referring to a statement by present External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj after her China visit, Singh said, "She (Swaraj) innocently said the Chinese have agreed to let India become a permanent member of the UN Security Council. What the Chinese mean is that they would like India to play an active role in the UN."

The former diplomat pointed out that China, with the sole veto which today represents the interests of Asia, Latin America and South America in the Security Council, would never "allow India to come in and share what they are enjoying".

Besides, even if China agreed to back India's bid for a permanent seat, it is not going to be the only country, he said.

"There would be a package of one Muslim country, Brazil, Nigeria or South Africa, Indonesia," Singh said, adding that "the reform of UNSC depends very much on China".

Stating that the resolution of the Indo-China border dispute was of the "utmost importance", Singh said that former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had made "an error of judgement when dealing with China".

"The Chinese practice realpolitik and we don't. That is the fundamental fact," he added.

Singh, who has served under Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, meanwhile, said that the world is deeply interested to find out what kind of politician is the Indian prime minister.

"Modi has gone to china as Chief Minister of Gujarat many times and he has to move out of the Gujarat syndrome," he said.

Recalling his meeting with Modi a few weeks before he became prime minister, Singh said he told him that he had not mentioned foreign policy in his several speeches.

"I told him that as the PM, you will design the foreign policy. The world is a very complicated place and so is India. From Gandhinagar, we get one view of India and from Delhi another view, from Shangai another view.

"We get one view of the world from Delhi and another from Washington, from Moscow, from Beijing and London," he said, adding that foreign policy is what you do and diplomacy how you do it.

He said it was "unfortunate" that the External Affairs Minister is not to be seen when the prime minister travels abroad.

"As a foreign minister, if she goes with the PM, she will meet with all her colleagues," Singh said.

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