PM Modi conveys to Xi India’s concerns on China’s action on Lakhvi

Ufa (Russia): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday conveyed India’s strong concerns to President Xi Jinping over China blocking its proposal for action by the UN against Pakistan on the release of jailed Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

During a nearly 90-minute-long meeting between the two leaders ahead of the BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summits here, Modi also reiterated India’s concerns over the USD 46 billion economic corridor China was building which goes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir(PoK).

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar replied in the affirmative when asked whether the Prime Minister raised China blocking India’s move at the UN on the Lakhvi issue. 

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly took up the issue of China blocking the resolution. He conveyed India’s concerns,” Jaishankar said while briefing reporters on the Modi-Xi meeting, the fifth between the two leaders in the last one year.

Elaborating on Modi’s comments, Jaishankar said, “the Prime Minister made our concerns known very clearly.”

“I can assume that the Chinese side was impressed with the clarity and directness in which it was conveyed. It was felt that we should keep talking on that,” he added.

Asked what would be the format of the discussions on this issue, he said officials will take up from where the leaders have left.

“There is no particular mechanism. The MEA can discuss with the Embassy(Chinese). There are a range of mechanisms,” he added.

The Prime Minister while conveying his concerns to Xi told him how the people of India viwed the Chinese action.

At a meeting of the UN Sanctions Committee last month, India had sought action against Pakistan for release of LeT operations commander Lakhvi in the 26/11 trial in violation of a UN resolution but the Chinese representatives blocked the move on grounds that New Delhi did not provide sufficient information.

India had earlier said that the Chinese action was at “variance” with progress in bilateral ties.

Lakhvi, the mastermind of the 26/11 terror attack, was released from a Pakistani jail in April. Lakhvi, 55, a close relative of LeT founder and Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, was arrested in December 2008 and was indicted along with the six others on November 25, 2009 in connection with the 26/11 attack that claimed 166 lives.

After the meeting, Jaishankar said, “There is a sense of new energy and enthusiasm in ties.”

They discussed the boundary issue, confidence building measures, issues of maintaining peace and tranquillity along the border and more meeting points at the border, he said.  

Jaishankar said India’s bid for a permanent seat in a reformed UN Security Council and the Nuclear Suppliers Group membership also came up for discussion.  The two leaders spent a considerable time discussing Modi’s “warm” visit to China in May and his trip to Xi’s hometown of Xi’an, Jaishankar said.

They reviewed the progress in bilateral ties since their last meeting especially on trade and economic cooperation, he said.

During the talks, cooperation in the BRICS grouping and the Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) of which India is the second-largest shareholder was discussed.

Modi and Xi also discussed reconstruction projects in quake-hit Nepal.

On his meeting with Xi, who is the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, Modi said, “Great meeting President Xi Jinping again. Our talks were comprehensive & a lot of topics came up for discussion.”

The Prime Minister thanked the Chinese leader for the successful holding of the first International Day of Yoga in many Chinese cities.

It is the fourth bilateral meeting between the two leaders since their first in Fortaleza, Brazil, last July. In September 2014 Xi had visited India while Modi made a trip to China earlier this year in May. Xi and Modi had also visited each other’s hometowns during their bilateral trips.

“Our 5th meeting in a year shows the depth of the India-China relationship,” Modi was quoted by External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup as telling Xi.