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GOVERNMENT CALLS ALL-PARTY MEET ON CHINA STANDOFF, KASHMIR
1:48:06 am 14-July-2017
New Delhi, 13th July (IANS): Ahead of Parliament's Monsoon Session, the government has called leaders of opposition parties on Friday for a briefing on the India-China standoff in Doklam in Sikkim sector, as also the Kashmir situation in the wake of killing of seven Amarnath pilgrims.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Home Minister Rajnath Singh will brief the opposition in the meeting, to be held at the latter's residence. The meeting is primarily aimed at taking the opposition leaders into confidence on both issues ahead of the Parliament session which commences on July 17.

The standoff between India and China in the Doklam Plateau, adjoining the tri-junction between India, China and Bhutan, is now a month old, with no end to it yet in sight.

Sources said the government also wants to discuss in the meeting the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which has witnessed a spate of violence following the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in July last year.

Militants attacked a bus carrying Amarnath pilgrims, killing seven people and injuring 19 others in Jammu and Kashmir's Khanabal area on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway on July 10 evening.

However, the opposition, which has been severely critical of the Narendra Modi government over deteriorating law and order situation in Kashmir, did not appear keen to discuss the Kashmir issue outside Parliament.

"Yes, we will attend the meeting. The meeting will only be on the developments on the India-China-Bhutan borders. Doklam is a matter of great concern. Hope the government apprises us what is its assessment and how it proposes to address the crisis," senior Congress leader Anand Sharma told IANS.

Asked if the Kashmir situation will also be discussed in the meeting, Sharma said: "I am not going to discuss this because the meeting is for a specific purpose. We have Parliament as a forum to raise matters. As the session begins, this will be raised in Parliament."

Janata Dal United (JD-U) Spokesman K.C. Tyagi, too, confirmed that his party would attend the meeting but refused to comment on the agenda.

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