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A day after visiting three high-altitude India-China border posts in Uttarakhand, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday visited Gauchar in Chamoli district to interact with Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel. But, he did not visit the Barahoti post close to Tibet, which has witnessed transgression by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the recent past. A top ITBP official said Barahoti was not on the home minister’s itinerary, who on Friday and Saturday visited Rimkhim (at 14,200 feet), Lapthal and Mana posts in Chamoli district, where he celebrated Dussehra. Earlier, some media reports had said Singh would also visit Barahoti.
In the backdrop of the Doklam standoff, the spotlight had shifted to the post, an area the Centre did not want to draw attention to, especially in the light of the latest statement by the Chinese envoy. To improve bilateral ties with India, Luo Zhaohui, Chinese envoy to India, had said both the countries should start a new chapter in bilateral relations. Referring to the recent meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the BRICS summit in Xiamen, the envoy said the two nations made a lot of progress at a bilateral level. Speaking on the Doklam issue, Singh told the media that it would be sorted out through talks. “No nation wants war and we will sort out all the issues through talks.” the home minister said. Singh’s comments are being seen as a positive step towards settling the Doklam issue, top officials said. During his visit, Singh also assured the Centre would provide all help to the high-altitude areas bordering Tibet for better infrastructure.