Arunachal Pradesh is integral part of India: Tharoor



New Delhi: On the eve of boundary talks, Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor today said China has no "locus standi" on a key irrigation project in Arunachal Pradesh which it is opposing as the state is integral part of India.

"As far as India in concerned, we don't believe that China has any locus standi in this matter (irrigation project)," Tharoor told reporters while responding to queries on Beijing's opposition to the project.

China had tried to block an ADB loan for the project, claiming that the state was disputed.

The Minister said that Arunachal Pradesh was an integral part of India and the country was committed to the welfare and development of the State.

"Arunachal Pradesh will not be neglected by this government," Tharoor said.

Talks on boundary issue tomorrow

The comments assumes significance as these came on the eve of talks between Special Representatives -- National Security Advisor M K Narayanan and Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo -- here to discuss the boundary issue.

Ahead of the meeting, sources here said the two sides were making efforts to expeditiously resolve the "complex" issue while maintaining peace and tranquillity on the border.

Significantly, the discussions between the Special Representatives would for the first time go beyond the boundary issue to cover "regional and other issues of mutual interest".

The boundary talks between the Special Representatives, launched in 2003, are in the second phase and are being held on the basis of Political Parameters and Guiding Principles agreed between the two countries in 2005.

The two sides are currently exploring the framework for the final package of the resolution that will cover all sectors of the border, sources said here today.

The discussions are intended to take into account the areas with settled population as well, they said. After the framework is finalised, the actual delineation of the boundary will start, they said.

Bureau Report