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Transcript of Weekly Media Briefing by the Official Spokesperson (April 06, 2023)

April 07, 2023

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Very good afternoon to all of you. Thank you for joining us for this weekly media briefing. I don’t really have any announcements to begin with, so I will take a few questions, and we’ll start with you. Yeah, go ahead.

Rishabh: Hi sir, Rishabh from Times Now. Sir, in Canada we have seen the temple vandalism earlier this morning. So what can we expect? Has MEA raised this up with the authorities in Canada? And sir, second question about --

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: This is at Windsor?

Rishabh: Windsor, yes sir. The police is looking for two unidentified suspects in that, as per their statement. Sir, second question, in China, there are reports that --

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: One question, okay anyway, go ahead.

Rishabh: Indian national journalists, either they’re not being given visa extension or are being questioned, if we can have a clarity on that.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: This is about journalists?

Rishabh: Journalists, yes sir.

Raza: Raza from the Hindustan Times. Today, at the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s briefing, they basically talked about how, you know that India has not responded to whatever they wanted for the Chinese journalists, and they’re considering countermeasures for Indian journalists. I was wondering if you could say something on that.

Sudhi Ranjan: Sir, Sudhi Ranjan from Bloomberg. I mean adding to Raza’s question, we also want clarity on that, because China says that India, in fact, has asked a journalist from Xinhua to leave the country on March 31st, and as he said that these are countermeasures. Also sir, drawing your attention to a report published by Chatham House, which talks about a Chinese base in --

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: That’s not related to this. We’ll take it later on. Let’s have one question at a round first. Okay, let me take the question. You have related to this. Okay, hold on.

Manas: Manas from PTI. So how many Chinese journalists are currently working in India, and then what about reports about MEA not extending visas to a number of journalists?

Sidhant: Sir, Sidhant from WION. My question is, recently we saw comment by Chinese diplomat here in India, in Kolkata basically, saying the situation in the border is stable and emergency controls have been removed.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: It’s not related to this, should we --

Sidhant: Related to China basically.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Okay, go ahead.

Sidhant: The situation at the border is stable and emergency control has been removed. If you can comment on the remarks made by the Chinese diplomat on the border situation.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Okay, nothing on this. Let me take this round of, unless there’s something related to these questions, no, okay. China, go ahead, and maybe I’ll take it together.

Umashankar: Umashankar NDTV se. Pehle China ne gyarah jagho ke nam badalne ki bat ki, aur kal hi unki videsh mantralaya ki pravakta ki taraf se kaha gaya hai ke Arunachal Pradesh China ka hissa hai, ye unke haq me aata hai. Ispe aapki pratikriya.

(Question in Hindi: Approximate translation) Umashankar from NDTV. Earlier, China mentioned about renaming eleven places, and yesterday, their Foreign Ministry representative said that Arunachal Pradesh is part of China, that it comes under their rights. What’s your response to that?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Haq mei ata hai….badalna…naam badalna? (Question in Hindi: Approximate translation) It’s in their right to change name?

Umashankar: Yes.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Okay. Let me just take this round of questions. I think there are some of these questions on journalist issues. Look, let me begin by saying that it will not be appropriate for me to get into discussions on visa policy. In any case, as you are aware, other agencies are also involved in this process. But let me make the larger point. So there are Chinese journalists who have valid Indian visas for pursuing journalist activities in India. So from that perspective, we do not see any limitations or difficulties in reporting or doing media coverage. As regards Indian journalists working in China, we would hope that Chinese authorities would facilitate their continued presence and reporting from China. We are in touch with Chinese authorities in this regard. I don’t want to get into individual cases or individual information, it would not be appropriate as I said on visa on others. Somebody asked me how many Chinese journalists, etc, look, better to ask the Chinese side on that, because I wouldn’t know their exact position, whether they’re here or they’ve gone back to China or somewhere else, but certainly there are a number of Chinese journalists who have valid Indian visas. So I think that broadly is my response to all the questions you had.

Manas, I think you had a very similar question also on… as I said, look I am not going to get into numbers, exact specific numbers, because as I said, a number of Chinese journalists have valid Indian visas for reporting purposes.

Sidhant, your question was slightly different. You referred to comments by I think, Chinese diplomat here or otherwise, I don’t remember exactly. I think we made our position clear on this matter, shared on various occasions, I think including External Affairs Minister also spoke about it. But let me just reiterate, the restoration of normalcy in our relationship will require, restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas, which has been disturbed since April 2020. As External Affairs Minister said, the presence of a large number of troops there in contravention of agreements, is an abnormality. We have been holding discussions on diplomatic and military tracks, but till such time, the situation in the border areas sees a return to peace and tranquility as I said, we cannot foresee normalcy in the overall relationship. So that would be our response to that.

Umashankar Ji, aapka prashna tha, isme hamne actually ek statement issue kiya tha, jari kiya tha, ek do din pehle, mai phir dohra sakta hu. Ye pehli bar nahi hai ke China is tarah ke koi attempt kar raha hai, aur hamne isko khandan kiya tha aise attemps ka. Aapne zikar kiya hai Arunachal Pradesh ke bare me, dekhiye usme bhi humne kaha tha ke Arunachal Pradesh hamara abhinn ang hai bharat ka, aur ye jo apne nam lagana ya phir apne invented names hamne jo kaha tha, usse jo situation hai ground me vo nahi badal sakta, vo reality nahi badal sakti hai, to mai usi ko dohrana chahunga.

(Answered in Hindi: Approximate translation) Umashankar, in regarding to your question, we had actually issued a statement couple of days ago. I can repeat it. This is not the first time that China is attempting to do something like this, and we have rebutted such attempts. You mentioned Arunachal Pradesh, see, Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India, and China’s attempts of using such invented names cannot change the ground reality. I’ll just repeat that.

And Rishabh your first question on... look, I think our consulate would have issued something, I am not hundred percent sure. We were in touch with the consulate early morning. This is a very unfortunate incident and we condemn it. This issue has been taken up with the Canadian authorities and with the same request that we’ve made in other locations. Please catch the perpetrators, please try to prevent, and ensure that this does not happen again. And I hope that Canadian authorities are able to take action on those lines. But certainly, yes, let me reiterate. We condemn it and it has been taken up with the Canadian authorities. I think our consulate is putting out, it’s very early morning, may put out some statement also.

Okay, let me take the next round of questions.

Kavita Joshi: Sir, mai Kavita Joshi hu, Hari Bhoomi Newspaper se. Mera saval sir, jo abhi Arunachal Pradesh ko lekar ke China ka jo statement aaya hai, usse related hai. Ek bar pehle bhi maine ye saval aapse pucha tha, mai phir se isko dohrana chah rahi hu. Actually ye jo Arunachal Pradesh ko leke China ka jo statement aaya aur phir aapki bhi pratikriya aai, mantralaya ki, us par America ka bhi bayan aaya hai. America ne ye kaha hai ke jo Bharat ka jo paksha hai uska vo samarthan karta hai. Isse pehle bhi America ki senate me do dalo ki taraf se ek proposal aa chuka hai jisme vo keh chuke hai ke Arunachal Pradesh Bharat ka abhinn ang hai, aur McMohan Line ko Line of Actual Control ki tarah se dekha jana chahiye, Bharat aur China ke bich me border ki tarah se. To America ke samarthan ko kaise dekhta hai Videsh Mantralaya, us par aapka kya reaction hai. Aur kya aap matlab ye jo border ka issue hai, Arunachal Pradesh ka issue hai, ise keval dono desho ka mante hai, Bharat aur China ka? Isme kisi tisre desh ko bolna chahiye ya nahi bolna chahiye, ispe kya aapka response hai?

(Questioned in Hindi: Approximate translation) Sir, I am Kavita Joshi from Hari Bhoomi Newspaper. Sir, my question is related to China’s recent statement relating to Arunachal Pradesh. I had asked you this questions in the past also, and I’d want to ask it again. Actually, in relation to Arunachal Pradesh, after this statement of China and your response on it, America has also issued an statement. America has said that they support India’s point on this issue. Earlier also in American Senate, two parties have submitted a proposal, in which they stated that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India, and McMohan Line must be viewed as the Line of Actual Control, as the border between India and China. So how does MEA view America’s support in this regard, and what’s your response on it. And should this Arunachal Pradesh border issue be viewed as between two countries, India and China? Should any third-party be speaking about it or not? What’s your response to that?

Siddhant: Sir, I am Siddhant from CNN News 18. Sir, my questions is, in fact, I want to know the reaction of the government as far as former President Donald Trump’s indictment is concerned. Also sir, the follow-up question…

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Can you be more specific, reaction to?

Siddhant: Sir, I want to know the position of Indian Government, because historical indictment of former president of…

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Oh, his indictment, yeah, okay.

Siddhant: And sir, my second question is that Mr. Trump has been repeatedly blaming George Soros for funding the legal team which is fighting this case against him. So, in fact, George Soros, in regard to India also, EAM, Minister Jaishankar, has also said that he has been investing in shaping narratives. So do you think that there is a requirement or Government thinks that there is a requirement for an investigation in the source of funding which is coming from Mr. Soros maybe to India, as far as…

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: No, I think your question goes to too many places. I’ll try to answer it in the way I can. Go ahead.

Manish Kumar Jha: This is Manish Kumar Jha from Financial Express. My question regarding the violence and vandalism happened in Indian High Commission in UK. Has any arrest been made? And what is a follow-up on that by the UK police and how MEA is following up? Any status on that please.

Abhishek: Sir I am Abhishek from CNN News 18. My question is with this Canadian temple attack following that there has been a five or six such attacks in the past. And apparently there is Canadian authorities working to nab the culprits. So if you could give us some sense what has the action been on the ground?

Rishikesh: Sir I am Rishikesh from PTI. India's main opposition party Congress has raised the issue of detention of ex-naval personnel by the Qatar authority. So Jairam Ramesh, in fact. Jairam Ramesh is asking question to the government that what are the reasons behind not putting pressure on the Qatar authorities on this issue? And is --

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: What is your question?

Rishikesh: Jairam Ramesh....

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: No I know. I heard that. What is your question?

Rishikesh: Would you like to respond on this? What is the current status?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: That's it. Current status. Okay. Or are you asking, why bring Jairam Ramesh into it. You can ask me current status. I'm just curious as to the question. Okay. Let me do one thing. Let me take this round of question unless it's something that is related to these kinds of things. No, okay. You have been really keen on that okay, hold on.

Sridhar: Actually I have got two clarifications.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: You have to introduce yourself for the record.

Sridhar: I am Sridhar from Asian Age sir. Sir, one is, can we have some clarity on the factual position on this issue of Indian journalists in China? You just said that the MEA is in touch with the Chinese authorities. I want to know what is the factual position as ascertained by the Government of India, whether our mission in Beijing or have Indian journalists being asked to leave or some of them have been asked to leave? What is the factual position? Because there's a you know, there's not much clarity on this. The second issue is on the Qatar incident --

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: which he asked.

Sridhar: which I believe the charges have been framed. What are the charges against our former Indian Navy personnel?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: I understand. I understand. Okay, so let me take this round of questions and see if we can help clarify some of the doubts. Kavita ji apse suru karunga. Dekhiye maine abhi jawab diya tha unko, ki Arunachal Pradesh ke bare mai kuch jagaho ki naam badalne ya naya namankan karne ki jo inhone kosish ki hai China ne, ye Bharat aur China ke bich me solution nikalna padega. Agar koi hume samarthan karta to acchi baat hai. Par main ye nahi kahena chaunga ki unke samarthan ya asamarthan ke wajaha se humara koi position badlega. Arunchal pradesh abhinn ang hai Bharat ka, aur iske liye baki hum kisi ka support ke liye jaruri nahi hai humara position badle us se. Toh isme koi do rai nahi honi chahiye. Humara matlab humari position ispe tiki hui hai. Baki desh kya kahe na kahe wo alag baat hai. Support accha raheta hai par humara position uske upar based nahi hai. Aur maine jo abhi keh diya humara hum kis tarah se usko dekhte hai ye change of name ya naye naam dene ki effort ko.

(Answered in Hindi: Approximate translation) Kavita ji, I will start with your question. Look I just answered it, that regarding Chinese efforts of changing names of some parts of Arunachal Pradesh, both India and China need to find solution. If anyone is supporting our position over it, then that’s good thing but our position will not change whether they support us or not. Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and we are not going to change our position over it for the support of anyone, there is no doubt over it. Our position is based on it. What other countries say it's another thing. They are supporting our stand, it's a good thing but our stand is not dependent on their support, and I have just said how we see Chinese name changing efforts in Arunachal Pradesh.

Let me just take actually Manish's question. This was on vandalism that we had talked about in generally in the….this was London you specifically asked no, no, this is I mean, to be honest, vandalism had happened in a couple of other places. I don't have really, you know, too much of an update. But I could say, or I could share with you that look, we have made it pretty clear to our, to the host governments or to our interlocutors, what action we expect from, you know, from the host government, in terms of, you know what they need to do to protect. And if you want, I'm willing to repeat that. We had conveyed our expectations to the host governments, about the security of our premises, safety of our personnel. External Affairs Minister, I think spoke about it at length the last couple of weeks, and we are in contact with the host governments about these recent incidents. But if there is any development, I think we'll ask those governments or the local authorities there, because for us, what is important is action taken as I had mentioned, rather than assurances, but at this point, I don't have anything particular to share regarding movement on that. So we are hopeful that the countries will take action, but I don't have any immediate update on that specific arrest or anything else. I would request you to contact those governments also.

Manish: Was there any delay in the investigation?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Look, as I said that we have requested it. Finally, security measures, legal measures are part of what the host government has to do. This is not within India. So, separately, of course, we have sent a report to the concerned authorities about, I was asked I think last time we met about FIR. And that's a separate process that is under Indian jurisdiction.

Let me come to, again, related to this, but not directly Abhishek your question was on these five or six attacks, but this is I think you just focusing on Canada's, unfortunately it has happened in other places. Look, all I can say is we will continue to insist that action is taken against the perpetrators. They are identified, they are prosecuted, and also as importantly, measures to prevent the recurrence. Beyond that, as I said, just now to Manish, it is the host governments for them to take the….it's not as if the India security forces are there to take action. So we can only request and push these organizations, these authorities to take action.

Manish: Are you satisfied with their action sir?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Look, I don't think it's an issue of our satisfaction. It's an issue of not having recurrence of such incidents, having action taken, measurable action against perpetrators. And when this happens, we will let you know.

Let me come to, I think Sidhant, you had asked about the issue of former President, U.S. President, that was the question, right. Look, regarding that issue. I mean, specifically, regarding development, we have noted the developments that happened earlier this week. This is a matter for the U.S. institutions and systems to address. But since you raised this issue, let me make here a larger comment. We see comments from time-to-time by foreign governments on developments in India. Germany is a recent example. I'm not sure what they seek to achieve by such comments. Certainly India is not waiting for their views or validation nor do such comments matter for the functioning of the Indian systems and institutions. So I thought I'd add that to a general comment. But on the specific issue, as I said, this is a matter for U.S. institutions and systems to address.

That was second question, so I was not going to answer it. But since you raised again. Look, I think the issues are very different. As I said, these are issues for the U.S. systems to address. As regards External Affairs Minister's comments, I don't think anybody needs to interpret them. His comments stand on their own. I don't have anything to add to it. If there are violations of our laws and our regulations, there are agencies working on that. And I don't think this is a foreign policy issue as such. External Affair Minister has already made his position quite clear.

Rishikesh, you had asked about the issues of the people of the former Indian Navy officers in Qatar, right. Look on that let me, I have some update here. We understand that the case has been referred to the court by the public prosecution. The first hearing was held on the 29th of March, which was also attended by the lawyer appointed for the case. I mean the defense lawyer, as well as our officials. And our embassy in Doha, continues to remain in touch with the families of the detained Indian nationals. It's also extending necessary consular as well as legal assistance. We've also requested for another round of consular access. And let me reiterate, as I have said before, Government attaches high priority to the matter and remains engaged with the Qatari authorities regarding the case. I am not sure, I think there was a question of charge sheet. Look, I don't think the charges have been yet opened. But let's see now that the legal process is underway we'll keep a close watch on that.

As regards I think you brought in, Jairam Ramesh Ji's comments. Look, I usually don't comment on that. But I did not understand. We should put pressure on Qatar, you said? Look, I'm very, very worried to take that route. If I were to extrapolate that, it would be as if a country has good relations with India, their nationals would not be subject to our laws. I don't think that's the line that we want to take. I think Indian laws are applicable to nationals of countries with whom we have good relations also. So I don't think good relations should come in the way of a legal process in that.

Sridhar your question was again, I have something, you said factual position. I got your question. I don't think what I said was not factually correct. That was the factual position on that. What you want to know, we may not be able to share with you. If you want, I'll repeat my position, which is what I said that I'm not going to be able to get into discussions on visa policy or individual cases. And as regards, you know, Indian journalists working in China, we would hope the Chinese authorities would facilitate their continued presence and reporting from China. We are in touch with Chinese authorities and on the Indian journalists who may have been affected, there is issue of privacy also here. Look, Chinese journalists here. For the Indian journalists, as I mentioned, we hope they are able to work there. For the Chinese journalists here as I said, there are a number of Chinese journalists who hold valid Indian Visas for reporting purposes. So I don't see the issue specifically about any difficulties on reporting. If there are individual cases or any issues I'm sure there are mechanisms to discuss. We are in touch with, as I said, the Chinese authorities.

Let me take another round of questions. Okay, Akhilesh I will start with you.

Akhilesh Suman: Sir I am Akhilesh Suman from Sansad TV. Actually one attack in this country and other attack in this country like Canada, UK, America, Australia and it is happening in a short span of time. So do you see there is any design behind all these attacks because it is coming against a particular, you know, community particular temples and also, what is your reading? What is MEA's understanding about such type of series of incidents?

Gautam Lahiri: Well, I'm Gautam Lahiri. My question is regarding Teesta River Project. Two days back Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh has said in a press conference that they have sent a note verbale to India Government, asking clarification on the proposed project for breeding up canals for Teesta River water in West Bengal. So whether you will have replied to that note verbale and what is your understanding about this, so the project, what has been reported in the press?

Ayushi Agrawal:
Sir Ayushi Agarwal from ANI. Sir my question is regarding the Indian baby in German foster care. Is there any update on that as the parents have been seeking a repatriation to India?

Chandra: Sir two questions on Pakistan. Chandra (Inaudible) News 18 sir. Apne dekha hoga ki ek comment Home Ministry ke taraf se aaya tha ki Kartarpur corridor ke tarah ek Sharda ko jodne ke liye bhi corridor banane ki baat ki gai. Unhone kaha is direction me kadam uthayenge. Isi beech humne dekha ki Pakistan POK ki jo assembly hai unke taraf se ek proposal pass hota hai corridor khulna chahiye aur baad me aaj Pakistan ne U-turn le liya ki, aisa kuch nahi huwa hai. Kya government is direction me kadam utha rahi hai? Kya suru ho chuka hai iss baare mei contact huwa hai? Dusara apne dekha hoga ki Pakistan jo air force hai unhone haal hi me patch create kiya hai un pilots ke liye jo Turkey me banaye huwe drones ko udayenge, operate karenge. Us patch me Jammu Kashmir ko Pakistan ka hissa dekhaya gaya hai ki, usme do countries involved hai Pakistan bhi involved hai aur Turkey bhi involved hai. Is pe apka comment chahata hu.

(Questioned in Hindi: Approximate translation) Chandra from News 18 sir. You must have seen there was one comment from the Home Ministry, that like Kartarpur Corridor, there are talks going on for the development of Sharda corridor. The Ministry said that steps will be taken in this direction. Meanwhile we saw that in the POK assembly there was one proposal passed from their side to open the corridor, and then later on today, Pakistan took a U-turn saying no such thing happened. Is our government taking any steps in this direction? Is there any contact in this regard? Secondly, you must have seen that the Pakistani Air Force recently created a patch for the pilots who will fly drones made by Turkey, in this patch they have shown Jammu and Kashmir their part. Pakistan and Turkey both involved in it, I would like to get your comment over it.

Madhurendra: Sir mere bhi kuch sawal hai.

(Questioned in Hindi: Approximate translation) Sir, I have few questions.

Madhurendra: Madhurendra, News Nation se. Ek to 22 February ko WMCC ki baithak huwi thi Bharat aur China ke beech. Aur us baithak ke baad jo yaha briefing huwi thi uske mutabik corps commander level ki baithak jald se jald hogi. Aur usmei phir disengagement ke process ko aage badhaya jayega. Jo ki ab tak nahi huwi. To main janna chahata hu ki corps commander level ki baithak kaha atki huwi hai. Ya phir koi tarik agar ap logo ne decide kiya hai to wo bata de. Aur dusara Indus Water Treaty ko le kar Bharat aur Pakistan ke beech kya baatchit chal rahi hai.

(Questioned in Hindi: Approximate translation) Madhurendra, from News Nation. Firstly, the WMCC meeting was held between India and China, and later on as per briefing it was said that the Corps Commander level meeting will be held as soon as possible, and in that meeting disengagement process will be taken forward, which has not been done yet. So I would like to know an update about the Corps Commander meeting, when will it be scheduled? And Secondly, what talks are going on between India and Pakistan over the Indus Water treaty?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Kya baatchit chal rahi hai?

(Answered in Hindi: Approximate translation) What talks are going on?

Madhurendra: Ji.

Vishal Pandey: Sir main Vishal Pandey hu Zee News se. Islamic desho ke sangathan OIC ne jo Ram Nawami par hinsa huwi thi usko le kar jo bayan jaari kiya hai, us par Bharat ki pratikriya kya hai? Aur kya is bayan ko Bharat virodhi agenda ka hissa mana jaye?

(Questioned in Hindi: Approximate translation) I am Vishal Pandey from Zee News. Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) released a comment over Ram Navmi violence, what is India's response over it? Should it be considered an Anti-India agenda?

Sudhi Ranjan Sen: Thank you. Sir Sudhi Ranjan from Bloomberg. Flagging a report by Chatham House, which talks about spy base coming out in Coco Islands of Myanmar. Has India taken note of it? Has this been raised with Myanmar? And what is India's position sir?

Huma Siddiqui: Sir I am Huma Siddiqui from the Financial Express. Sir today, the Saudi and the Iranian foreign ministers met in Beijing. So how does India look at that?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Okay, let me try to quickly answer a large number of questions. Look Akhilesh to your question on….it doesn't matter if I see a pattern or not. Or what we want is, let me reiterate. We want these incidents not to happen and when do happen that we would like to see action against the perpetrators. That's what we are really looking for. I could speculate, but that's not helpful. We would request host governments to take action to ensure that Indian community there, Indian citizen community, places of worship, etc. are looked after, protected. On Gautam Lahiri, on your question, I don't have any immediate response. I don't have the details whether we have responded yet or not. I've seen the comment by the Foreign Secretary. This is not something that we have a statement yet on it. Ayushi on your question regarding Indian baby. You heard Foreign Secretary here talk about it. External Affairs Minister, I think also mentioned on some occasion. It's a sensitive issue. It has privacy implications. I don't have any real immediate update that we can share with you publicly.

Shailendra ji apka prasan tha, toh ek koi POK assembly jo apne khud hi kaha ki reverse ho gaya hai. Isme humara koi tippani nahi hai. I'm not aware of the details ke aisa huwa hai, koi request hai. Agar humare pas kuch share karne ke liye hoga, to jarur apse share karenge. Apne dusara kaha tha ki Pakistan ke koi patch, jo matlab pehente hai, I presume us chij ki baat kar rahe hai. Dekhiye Pakistan ke saath unke map ko le ke humare humesha obviously differences hai. Unke jaha pe unhone ye sab map use kiya hai humne uska object kiya hai, jisme humare Indian territory unke yaha dekhate hai. Agar ye map maine kahi social media me dekha hai detail malum nahi, to obviously we object to that. But ye isme koi nayi baat nahi hai. Pakistan humesha se humare territory ko apne territory dikha rahi hai. Usme hum object karte rahete hai. Par apko jaise malum hai ye issue koi naya mudda nahi hai except apne kaha ki abhi wo koi military uniform me bhi use kar rahe hai.

Madhurendra ji, WMCC aur uske jo corps commander ki meeting ki baat kar rahe the jaise koi date hoga hum apko batayenge. Yes dono taraf ki plan yehi hai ki jaldi se ho sake meeting. Abhi tak hoye nahi hai. Ya phir koi date aisi hai nhi jo main apke saath abhi share kar pa raha hu.

Vishal Pandey….apne bhi Indus Water Treaty ke bareme pucha tha. Indus Water Treaty ke bareme humne kafi briefing di to thi. Par uska update ye hai ki humne jo ek notice diya tha modification ke liye, Indus Water Treaty ka Pakistan ko, uske ek article 12 ke tahet, January me, 25 January ko. Abhi 3 April ko Pakistan Foreign Ministry ne ek chithi hume forward ki hai, unke jo commissioner for Indus Water hai, humare commissioner for Indus Water ke liye. Pakistan Foreign Ministry abhi third of April ko, unke yaha se ek letter unhone bheja hai, jo unke Indus Commissioner ka letter hai. Usko forward karte huwe. Aur isko hum examine kar rahe hai. Unke jo abhi letter aaya hai. Aur isko hum saare in consultation, jo bhi humare yaha pe baki stakeholders hai unke saath hum, aur jo humara response ready rahega, apko sayad share karenge. Abhi ke liye confirm kar sakta hu ki chithi aai hai unke taraf se.

Vishal ji apka prasna tha OIC. Isme humne detailed ek bayan jari kar chuke hai isme. Mere pas aur additional kuch kahene ke liye aisa hai nahi. Usme humne kafi clear kar diya tha humara jo position hai. kal ya parso ka tha ye.

(Answered in Hindi: Approximate translation) Shailendra Ji, your question was regarding POK assembly, and you yourself said that they reversed it too. There is no comment over it from our side. I am not aware of any details that such a thing happened. We will share an update if we have information. Secondly, your question was regarding the Pakistani patch which they are wearing. Look, with Pakistan, regarding their map, obviously there are always differences between us. If such a map is there on any platform or social media, I don’t know the details, but obviously we object to that. This is not the only instance; Pakistan regularly shows our territory as their territory in their maps, we object to it. But like you know, there is nothing new to it, except this time, like you said, that they are using it for their military uniform.

Madhurendra ji, you were asking about the WMCC and Corps Commandant meeting, we will let you know whenever we will get an update. Both sides are trying to get it done as soon as possible.

Vishal Pandey, you asked me about the Indus Water Treaty. There was a detailed briefing over the Indus Water Treaty, but there is one update over it that we had given one modification notice over Indus Water Treaty to Pakistan, under article 12, which was on 25thJanuary. Recently on 3rd April, Pakistan Foreign Ministry forwarded us one letter from their Commissioner for Indus Water treaty to our Commissioner for Indus Water treaty. We are in consultations with our other stakeholders on this, and whenever our response will be ready, we will update you. For now I can confirm that we have received a letter from their side.

Vishal ji, your question was regarding OIC. We released a detailed statement for this. There is nothing additional I can say about it. We have clearly mentioned our position in it.

Sudhi on the issue of reports you mentioned, this is about an island in Myanmar. Look, let me… these are issues relating to speculative elements. Let me just emphasize what we've seen. We've seen media reports, obviously, that you are referring to. Let me reiterate the government keeps a constant watch on all developments, having a bearing on India's security and takes all necessary measures to safeguard the same.

Huma on the Saudi Arabia, Iran. Today is actually the, I think the establishment has announced, the establishment of diplomatic relations. But if you recall, in one of these briefings we had talked about when this announcement had been made, that they would do it. We had made our position clear, largely on the lines that we have always advocated dialogue and diplomacy. And I think that would be our comment. I don't have anything to add to that. Okay, I think we'll close with that. Thank you all very much. Sorry. There are more questions

Sandeep Dikshit: Sir I am Sandeep Dikshit with the Tribune. The Malaysian PM has also spoken about dealing in currencies and the revival of his old proposal of an Asian monetary union. So what does the government think about local currencies especially because RBI has clear trade with about 20 countries in local currencies.

Sandhya: Sir Sandhya with ET. Quickly just want to check. There was a report saying that Indian Defense Agency bought a Pegasus like spyware. Anything you'd like to comment on that?

Kalol: Kalol from The Hindu. I would like to know, what is India's position on the reported violence that has taken place at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Okay. Okay. Let me quickly finish with that. Look on the Malaysian on, Sandeep Dikshitji, on your query as you know, the RBI has notified this mechanism of using local currency, Indian currencies with large number of partners, pursuant to that some countries have taken steps also to notify it in their system and to you know, establish the mechanism. Doing so you saw with Sri Lanka. Recently, it's happened in Malaysia. Yes, we are encouraging that. And I think that would help in hopefully enhancing trade relations with these countries.

On the Asian clearing unit. No, I don't have a response. I don't think it's a foreign policy issue. So I will let that be.

Sandhya, I don't have a response to the query you had. It doesn't even concern MEA. So I don't know how it's a foreign policy issue.

Kalol, on the issue of the developments that you refer to, let me give you a larger response. Our position on the Palestine question has been clear and consistent. We are committed to supporting all efforts to resuming, to resume direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians to achieve a two state solution. At this sensitive time, we would urge all sides to maintain calm. Okay, I think with that we have to close this. Thank you all for joining this briefing. Good afternoon.

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