New Delhi, Dec 14 (PTI) India should treat Tibet as a “core issue”, Tibetan government-in-exile’s President Lobsang Sangay said today, expressing concern over Beijing’s growing influence in India’s immediate neighbourhood.Also Read - China Covid-19 Update: Beijing Toughens Curbs to Fight New Virus Outbreak. Full Details Here

The chief of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) said Tibet is a “litmus test” and holds the “key” to Beijing in many ways and also is a potential catalyst to bring about changes inside China. Also Read - India vs England Highlights T20 World Cup Warm-Up Match: Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul Guide India to a 6-Wicket Victory Over England

Sangay said Tibetans should have a say on the usage of water of rivers located in the Tibetan plateau, touching upon reports of highly polluted water from Brahmaputra’s tributary Siang flowing into India. Also Read - SAFF Championship 2021 Match Highlights India vs Bangladesh Match 3 Today Football Updates: 10-Man Bangladesh Earn a Hard-Fought 1-1 Draw Over India

“Restoring the guardianship of the Tibetan plateau to the Tibetan people is necessary,” he said, speaking at the M L Sondhi Memorial Lecture here.

“India should also declare Tibet as one of the core issues like China. It should make it part of the formal dialogue agenda,” he said.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu had recently drawn the attention of the Centre on the river contamination which he said might have been caused due to activities on the Chinese side.

The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) aims to “rehabilitate Tibetan refugees and restore freedom and happiness in Tibet”.

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, who also spoke at the event, said India lacks a strategic culture.

“Indian foreign policy is largely driven by romantic ideas. It should end. We should have a pragmatic policy,” Madhav said, underlining that China practices the “art of deception”.

Sondhi was an Indian academic, diplomat, parliamentarian and a lifelong supporter of the Tibet issue.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.