India should take firm stand in support of Tibetans: Sinha

By: Arvind Sharma
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Dharamshala,  Sep 17: "There are many people in India, including me, who believe that by not supporting the cause of Tibet during the Chinese aggression in 1950, we had made a huge strategic mistake. It is because apart from the fact that India and Tibet always had very deep civilisational relationship and that Tibet was a friendly country to India," said former Union Finance and Foreign Affairs Minister of India Yashwant Sinha here on Monday.

The BJP MP, who is also the chairman of All Party Indian Parliamentarian Forum for Tibet, said Tibet acted as a buffer between China and India and by letting that buffer collapse, India invited trouble and the result was shown during the 1962 war in which India was humbled by the Chinese.

Sinha, who visited Dharamshala on September 15 for a three-day visit, met various Tibetan officials, ministers and parliamentarians in-exile. Addressing the media on Monday morning, the senior BJP leader said China was still occupying large parts of India territory but yet the latter was committed to 'One China' policy, whether rightly or wrongly, and that policy which acknowledges Tibet as a part of China. He said the slogan of Hindi-Chini Bai-Bhai had vanished in 1962 and ever since, China and India have engaged with each other over serious differences.

Sinha said during Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's visit to China in 2003, the Indian government had ensured that in lieu of India's 'One China Policy', the Chinese recognised Sikkim as a part of India and decided to open Nathu La as a trading post between the two neighbours.

The leader said India should first decide how to deal with China and then how to deal with Tibet. He hoped that India would make its position firm in support of the Tibetans and convey a clear message to the Chinese that it would not accept genocide and destruction of civilisational and religious traits in Tibet just like the progressive global opinion.

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