Date:16/04/2005 URL:


``I initiated Guiding Principles''

Diplomatic Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The first draft of the "political parameters and Guiding Principles" to address the India-China boundary dispute, signed during Premier Wen Jiabao's recent visit to New Delhi, was handed over to the Chinese Special Representative by his then Indian counterpart, Brajesh Mishra.

In an interview to the BBC's Hardtalk India programme, Mr. Mishra said, "I initiated (it). The first draft was given by me to Dai Bingguo, the Chinese representative, and we discussed it on two occasions before I left office. So, under the guidance of Mr. Vajpayee, what I planned, that is settlement of the boundary question and the settlement of the Sikkim problem, so far as boundary is concerned there is now partial fulfilment of that plan because these principles, which have been agreed upon, they will help in settling the border question and on Sikkim now you have full satisfaction given the Chinese calling it the Sikkim State of India."

He said that credit should be given to Rajiv Gandhi for starting the process of securing the border settlement. However, Mr. Mishra said he could have been more determined and less tentative.

"In my view we should give credit to Mr. Rajiv Gandhi when he went to China in 1988. He started the process but given the political constraints of the time he was rather tentative on the boundary question ... although having a huge majority in Parliament he could have handled it in a more determined fashion. "

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