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China troops in PoK worry India
They have been developing infrastructure in border region in Tibet and Xinjiang regions
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 6
The presence of Chinese troops in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) has been causing anxiety to New Delhi, which has started strengthening infrastructure along the border.

Responding to media reports about the involvement of China’s PLA (People’s Liberation Army) troops in various infrastructure projects in PoK, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna told reporters here today that the government was seized of media reports on the subject.

“The government closely and regularly monitors all developments along our borders, which can have a bearing on our security,” he added. The Minister said India continuously reviewed and took all necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of its people, as well as the territorial integrity of the nation.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said the Defence Ministry has been asked for a detailed report on reports of the presence of Chinese troops in PoK and their alleged transgression into the Indian territory.

“There are transgressions from time to time which occur when Chinese troops come over to our side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). And occasionally, we are told that we are crossing on to their side, so this is going on for some time,” Rao told reporters on the sidelines of a function.

New Delhi’s comments came close on the heels of remarks made by a top Army commander last week on the issue. Northern Command chief Lt Gen KT Parnaik had been quoted as saying that the increasing China-Pakistan military nexus was posing a great threat to India.

Another cause of worry for India is that China has been developing infrastructure in the border region opposite India in the Tibet and Xinjiang Autonomous Regions. This includes the Qinghai-Tibet railway line, with proposed extension up to Xigaze and Nyingchi, and development of road and airport facilities.

India has also started paying special attention to the development of infrastructure in the border areas opposite China in order to meet the country’s security requirements and also to facilitate the economic development in these areas. This includes the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

The Chinese activities in PoK may come up for discussion during a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao at the Sanya Island in China next week. The two leaders are scheduled to attend the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) Summit there.

India is also likely to raise the issue of China issuing stapled visas to Indian residents of Jammu and Kashmir at the meeting. Although China has not issued stapled visa to any J&K national since the visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to New Delhi in December last, it still remains an issue between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Krishna presided over the computerised draw for the selection of pilgrims for the ‘Kailash Mansarovar Yatra 2011’, which begins in June. He said the Chinese authorities had informed India that the facilities for the ‘yatra’ would be improved substantially during the current plan period.





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