NEW DELHI: At the all party meet on China and Kashmir chaired by Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Friday, the Opposition was on board over the standoff with China in Sikkim but the leaders from the different political parties were critical of the government’s handling of the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Opposition leaders expressed concern over the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir that has witnessed violence over the last one year and attack on Amarnath pilgrims, sources said, adding the Opposition leaders were united with the government in eliminating terrorism.
The all-party meeting was called two days ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament beginning on Monday amid the standoff with China and terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir where seven pilgrims were killed and 19 injured earlier this week.
All India Trinamool Congress leader Derek o’Brien said at the meeting, “Government was aware about the security problem (in Jammu and Kashmir), Why did it not take it seriously? Why the lapse? Why did not the government act?” AITC later tweeted this from the official handle of the party and Brien retweeted the same.
Congress leaders also questioned the government’s handling in Kashmir saying national interest was paramount and everyone must rise above petty politics, sources said. Foreign secretary S Jaishankar told the leaders that China was seeking to alter the status quo in Doka La at the tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan and the same have strategic consequence for India.
Those who attended the meet included external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, defence minister Arun Jaitley, union minister Ramvilas Paswan, minister of state for home Hamsraj Ahir, national security advisor Ajit Doval, Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Anand Sharma and Ghulam Nabi Azad, Brien and home secretary designate Rajiv Gauba and others.
The government explained to the leaders the measures taken in Jammu and Kashmir to contain terrorism and that the NSA would convey India’s position to Chinese officials during his official to that country later this month, sources added.