Encourage Bhutan to deploy more soldiers around North-Doklam: Parliamentary panel
India should encourage Bhutan to ensure an increase in the deployment of soldiers around Northern Doklam in the Sikkim sector to check China's military activities in the sensitive region, a parliamentary panel suggested. The Parliamentary Panel on External Affairs, headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, felt increasing the number of soldiers in North Doklam was important for safeguarding India's strategic interests in the region.
India, China locked in 73-day standoff in Doklam last year
The panel's draft report, circulated among its members on August 6, did not clarify whether the committee was favoring increasing the deployment of Indian troops in the region. Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day standoff in Doklam in the Sikkim sector last year after the Indian side stopped construction of a road in the disputed tri-junction by the Chinese army.
India should remain alert and watchful, suggests panel
The panel suggested India should remain alert and watchful in Doklam even though last year's face-off between Indian and Chinese armies was resolved peacefully. It is clear that China's People's Liberation Army took advantage of the absence of Bhutanese soldiers in Batangla-Merugla-Sinchela ridgeline, which is in Bhutan, the panel noted. Therefore, the committee recommends deployment of a higher number of soldiers in Northern Doklam.
Rahul Gandhi also member of the committee
India should encourage Bhutan to deploy more soldiers so that China's army could be stopped from pushing the limit of the tri-junction point, the panel said. Congress President Rahul Gandhi is a member of the 31-member panel, where a majority of members are from BJP. Some committee members traveled to Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh to take stock of ground situations and meet senior officials.
Why did China choose Doklam to trigger confrontation, asks RaGa
The panel has been briefed several times on the situation in Doklam by S Jaishankar, former foreign secretary, and his successor Vijay Gokhale. Foreign Ministry officials had informed the panel that Bhutan was firmly with India on the issue, panel sources said. During discussions, Gandhi had questioned Foreign Ministry officials on China's objective and why Beijing chose Doklam to trigger a confrontation, sources added.