With reference to the editorial, “Success at Doklam” (August 29), the leaderships of India
showed statesmanship and sagacity not just in preventing the stand-off from snowballing into a full-blown military conflict but also in ending the impasse without embarrassing either nation ahead of the BRICS summit in Xiamen.
The swift disengagement of border personnel by India
and the suspension, if not shelving, of road construction by China
formed the crux of the compromise formula. The troop pull-out was not exactly a climb-down by India
as it succeeded in restoring the status quo. The right to patrol the area was not newly won by China.
With the agreement defusing the eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation and easing the border tension, the prospect of a war receded. Relations between the two countries softened after the amicable settlement.
Thankfully, Prime Minister Narendra Modi
and Chinese President Xi Jinping
were not swayed entirely by domestic considerations despite a nationalist sentiment bordering on jingoism sweeping both the countries. If they did, this resolution of the stand-off and resultant detente would not have been possible. The way the Doklam stand-off (without the firing of a single shot) ended was a tribute to diplomacy and dialogue. It produced a win-win situation for the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
Both the countries now need to refocus attention on how best to resolve disputes over the territory along the 3,488-kilometre boundary shared by them and the specific issue of road construction in that area which, if carried out, would, in New Delhi’s perception, pose a threat to India’s strategic interests. Restoring good neighbourly relations between the two countries is an essential prerequisite for them to make economic progress, unlock their full potential and occupy their rightful place on the international stage.
G David Milton, Maruthancode
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