On Monday, India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla swiped back at comments made by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan days earlier. He had compared India to a fascist state similar to the Nazi regime in an interview for Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine.
“That is ripe coming from the prime minister of a country that does not recognize the state of Israel, that until now does not acknowledge that the Holocaust took place, that has provided a safe sanctuary for Osama bin Laden,” Shringla said. “It is clearly an attempt to distract international attention and domestic attention from his own problems.”
Shringla was in Berlin for meetings with the German government, including to discuss Germany’s Indo-Pacific strategy.
DW News pressed Shringla three times to confirm or deny reports that China has occupied an extra 300 sq. km. of new territory along the border ever since the skirmishes earlier this year. That’s a conservative estimate according to observers, who believe territory taken to be greater than that.
“It has contributed to deterioration in terms of the ties between our two countries because of the unusual step of China to seek to unilaterally alter the status quo,” Shringla said. “We are concerned that China has taken this step. We are very, very clear that we will stand firm and resolute in our resolve not to allow our territorial integrity or sovereignty to be compromised.”
He went on to add, “We have not allowed any of this to take place. Our troops have stood resolute.” The Indian Ministry of External Affairs has not commented on the Chinese acquisition of territory along the border, as reported by Bloomberg and other outlets.
On the US election, Shringla remarked that “Prime Minister Modi’s relationship with President Trump has been special… But you have to remember that Prime Minister Modi’s relationship with President Obama was also very special.” The secretary underscored that the relationship between the US and India will not change, regardless of who wins the election. Congressional support for strong relations is bipartisan, he said.
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