There can’t be any difference of views among parties over national security issue: Sharad Pawar

MUMBAI, Oct 13: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday expressed concern over the talks between the armies of China and India failing to make any headway to resolve the stand-off and the recent incidents of violence in Jammu and Kashmir, but asserted that there can be no difference of views among political parties in matters related to national security.

Addressing a press conference here, Pawar said the Defence Ministry had briefed him and Congress leader A K Antony about the situation in Ladakh.

“On one side, our dialogue with China has not been successful, while on the other side, a day after talks with China, five Army personnel were killed in Poonch. As this is happening repeatedly, this is a cause of concern,” he said.

Pawar and Antony, two former Defence Ministers, were briefed by the Defence Ministry in July about the situation in Ladakh.

Army chief General M M Naravane was also present during this meeting, Pawar said.

“After that briefing, we came to a conclusion that there can be political differences, but there can be no difference on this (national security). Whatever stand the defence minister takes, we will have a similar stand. This is our commitment,” Pawar said.

India and China failed to make any headway in resolving the 17-month standoff in the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh with the Indian Army on Monday, saying the “constructive suggestions” made by it at the latest round of military talks were neither agreeable to the Chinese side nor Beijing could provide any “forward-looking” proposals.

In a strong statement after the 13th round of talks on Sunday that ended in a stalemate, the Army also said the situation along the LAC had been caused by “unilateral attempts” of the Chinese side to alter the status quo and it is necessary that China takes appropriate steps to restore peace in the region.

Five army personnel, including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), and two terrorists were killed in three encounters in different districts of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.

Pawar said, “We will hold discussions after going to Delhi and see what collective stand can be taken and make people aware of this. This, however, doesn’t mean there is anything to worry about.”  (PTI)