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Olympic Torch
Relay will be safe: India
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 3
India has assured China that it will take all possible measures to ensure a smooth passage of the Olympic torch relay and will not allow Tibetans here to indulge in anti-China activities.

External affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee conveyed this when his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi called him yesterday to brief him about the situation in Tibet and discuss the security for the Olympic torch relay in India. This is the second time in less than a week that China has briefed India on the Tibet issue.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Navtej Sarna said Mukherjee told China that the Indian government “will take the necessary measures to ensure that the passage of the Olympic torch is a success”.

The Union home ministry has held several high-level meetings to review the security arrangements and has already shortened the route for the journey in Delhi from nine to 2.5 km to guard against possible disruptions.

Mukherjee also used the opportunity to reiterate that India views Tibet Autonomous Region as an integral part of China. “Dalai Lama is a religious and spiritual leader,” the spokesperson said quoting the minister, adding that India does not allow Tibetan refugees settled in India to engage in anti-China political activities on its territory. Earlier on Tuesday, Mukherjee had talked tough and asked the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, not to do anything to “hurt” India’s ties with China.

“The Dalai Lama can stay here as India’s guest but he should not do anything that harms India’s diplomatic ties with China,” Mukherjee said. While appreciating the Indian government’s position, the Chinese foreign minister Yang also told Mukherjee that it had been proved “and will continue to be proven” that any scheme by the “Dalai Clique” to split and break China was “doomed to failure”.

The conversation comes after China’s state councilor Dai Bingguo’s telephonic talk with national security adviser M.K. Naranayan on March 30 when he briefed him on the “violent crimes” in Lhasa.



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