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Indian diaspora now feels a sense of “belongingness”, says External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj

PM Modi's speech took the nation by storm, people in India feels proud and 'Vande Mataram' is being chanted in a foreign land

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In Chicago, Hari Om Mandir members taking out Independence Day Parade (2016). Courtesy: Asian Media USA
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NEW DELHI, August 14, 2016: The Indian diaspora now feels a sense of “belongingness,” the statement by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday, August 13 came in response to PM Modi’s take on atrocities in Balochistan and Pak Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

For decades, Government only took a few defensive steps to deal with cross-border terrorism but it proved to be ineffective over time and the Kashmir narrative till today remains unsolved. PM Modi is the first Indian to openly challenge Pakistan on terrorism and this strong move will save India from its biggest geopolitical failure since Independence and prove how effective is Modi’s legacy.

According to PTI reports, Sushma said, “India today sets the global agenda as opposed to before when it used to be a mute spectator on global issues. Today, when India speaks the world listens.” In foreign policy the Central Government has brought a “paradigm shift” and today when India speaks the “world listens.”

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Modi’s speech took the nation by storm and people in India feels proud and ‘Vande Mataram’ is being chanted in a foreign land. Giving a helping hand to Indians abroad and find a solution to the distress was “never a priority” for the External Affairs Ministry before, added Swaraj.

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“PM has himself said that this ministry was about having fancy dinners wearing suit and boot. But today our embassies remain on toes,” Swaraj said to PTI.

Reacting to PM Modi’s statement on Balochistan, World Baloch Women’s Forum president and an activist Naela Quadri Baloch on Saturday said to DNA that people of Balochistan support him and urged that PM Modi to take up the Baloch issue with the international community at the United Nations, this year in September.

Members of Hari Om Mandir in Chicago. Courtesy: Asian Media USA
Members of Hari Om Mandir in Chiacgo. Courtesy: Asian Media USA
Hari Om Mandir
Hari Om Mandir, Chicago. Credit: Asian Media USA

In addition to that, Baloch National Movement (UK) spokesperson Hammal Haider Baloch also expressed similar thoughts by saying, ‘It is for the first time that an Indian Prime Minister has expressed his wish to support the Baloch people. And, I think it is a very crucial decision made by the Indian Government. We hope Prime Minister Modi will play the same role that (Indira) Gandhi had played in 1970-71.’

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Recently, Delhi-based Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation launched a book- ‘The Modi Doctrine: New Paradigms in India’s Foreign Policy’ where Sushma Swaraj was also present along with Priti Patel, Indian-origin Minister for International Development in Britain.

“Naturally, the pursuit of these objectives has not been without its challenges, among them cross-border terrorism. But the wisdom of our approach and the sincerity of our efforts are clearly gaining broader support,” she said to PTI.

– prepared by NewsGram Team 

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India China’s Fight Over the Doklam Plateau Explained

Doklam or Donglang, is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India

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picture from- indiaopines.com

By Ruchika Verma

  • India and China have an old history of disputes
  • This time, the dispute is regarding the Dokplam Plateau
  • The area is of strategic importance for both the nations

Disputes between India and China are not at all uncommon. The rivalry between the two nations is famous. There have been several disputes between the two on the India-China border in past, and there seems to be no stopping for these disputes in the present or future, for that matter.

India and China have a n old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com
India and China have an old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com

In June 2017, the world witnessed yet another dispute arising between India and China. This time the dispute was about China building a road extending to Doklam Plateau, which both nations have been fighting over for years now.

Also Read: China is likely to get involved if India disrupts $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

History of the dispute 

Doklam or Donglang (in Chinese), is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India. India doesn’t directly claim the area but supports Bhutan’s claims on it.

India fits into the picture, as this plateau is an important area for India. Not only is Bhutan one of the biggest allies of India; China gaining access over the Doklam Plateau will also endanger India’s borders, making them vulnerable to attacks.

Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan's borders.
Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan’s borders.

Apart from the hostile history of the two nations, the Doklam Plateau is also important for India to maintain its control over a land corridor that connects to its remote northeastern States. China building a road through Doklam surely threatens that control.

A complete timeline of what happened in the recent Doklam Standoff 

On 16 June 2017, Chinese troops with construction vehicles and excavators began extending an existing road southward on the Doklam plateau, near India’s border. It was Bhutan which raised the alarm for India.

On 18 June 2017, India responded by sending around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers to evict the Chinese troops from Doklam.

On 29 June 2017, Bhutan protested against the construction of a road in the disputed territory.  According to the Bhutanese government, China attempted to extend a road in an area which is shared both Bhutan and India, along with China.

Between 30 June 2017 and 5 July 2017, China released multiple statements justifying their claim over the Doklam plateau. They cited reasons as to why the Doklam standoff wasn’t really needed. And how China has not intruded into India’s territory to incite the standoff.

On 19th July 2017, China asked India again to withdraw its troops from the Doklam. On 24th July 2017,  Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his statement, asked India to withdraw and behave themselves to maintain peace.

India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC
India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC

Also Read: Why India Must Counter China’s High-Altitude Land Grab?

What followed till 16th August 2017 was China constantly alleging India of trying to create trouble. They accused India of trying to disturb the peace and not withdrawing the troops, even after repeated reminders. They also accused India of bullying.

India, however, kept quiet during the whole fiasco, only releasing a statement regarding their stand and position at the Doklam standoff.

On 28 August 2017, India and China finally announced that they had agreed to pull their troops back from the Doklam standoff. The withdrawal was completed on that very day.

On 7 September 2017, many media reports claimed that both nation’s troops have not left the site completely. They were still patrolling the area, simply having moved 150 meters away from their previous position.

On 9 October 2017, China announced that it is ready to maintain peace with India at the frontiers. India reacted in affirmative, the peace was established when Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s visited Nathu La.

The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay
The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay

The Doklam issue, for now, is resolved. However, given the history of disputes between India and China, it won’t be a surprise if the issue resurfaces again in near future.