China's ambassador to India, Luo Zhaohui, has caused controversy after speaking in favor of a trilateral summit involving India-China-Pakistan to resolve longstanding regional disputes.
"If China, Russia, and Mongolia can have a trilateral summit, then why can't India, China, and Pakistan?" the envoy said while addressing a seminar on "Beyond Wuhan — How far and fast can China-India relations go?"
The ambassador's suggestion comes days after Chinese premier Xi Jinping met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Qingdao and a year after Indian and Chinese troops were locked in the 73-day standoff in Doka La.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the Government of India strongly condemns the "unwarranted suggestion" of the Chinese ambassador.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: "We have seen reports on comments made by the Chinese ambassador on this matter. We have not received any such suggestion from the Chinese government. We consider the statement as the personal opinion of the ambassador. Matters related to India-Pakistan relations are purely bilateral in nature and have no scope for the involvement of any third country."
Opposition Indian National Congress also rejected the idea of a third party in any talks about disagreements between India and Pakistan.
"This is a proposal suggested by some Indian friends and I think it is a very good and constructive idea. Maybe not now, but in the future, it will be a step in the right direction to do something to realize this idea," the Chinese ambassador explained.