Monday 17 January 2022
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Indian Army chief’s comment triggers reactions from China, Pakistan

China has objected to Indian chief Gen M M Naravane’s statement that the level of threat posed by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army with its build-up along its Line of Actual Control (LoAC) with India had not yet come down despite disengagement of troops at some points. Pakistan has reacted to the Indian Army chief’s comment about the existence of terrorist camps across the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan too.

“At present, China and India are in dialogue and communication through diplomatic and military channels to ease the situation at the border,” Wang Wenbin, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Chinese government, said in Beijing.

“We hope that certain individual on the Indian side would refrain from making unconstructive remarks,” he said, when a journalist asked for the Chinese government’s response to the statement made by the Indian chief.

Gen Naravane had the day before yesterday told reporters that the threat posed to India by the Chinese PLA’s massive build-up along the LoAC, the de facto boundary between the two countries, had not come down even after the two sides had mutually withdrawn troops from both banks of Pangong Tso (lake) and Gogra Post in February and August 2021.

The Indian chief made the comment during a news-conference in New Delhi, when the commanders of the Indian Army and the Chinese PLA were meeting at the Chushul-Moldo point on the LoAC and holding the 14th round of negotiations to resolve the 21-month-long stand-off in eastern Ladakh.

The meeting, however, failed to yield an immediate breakthrough, despite extensive discussion between the two sides for disengagement of troops at the Hot Springs area on the LoAC.

The Indian chief said during the interaction with the press that Pakistan still had camps harbouring 350-400 terrorists at training camps and “launch-pads” in territories under its control across the LoC. He said that increase in concentration of terrorists in “launch-pads” and repeated infiltration attempts exposed Pakistan’s “nefarious intents” against India.

“There is nothing new about the Indian General’s unfounded allegations, as these are a part of the malicious anti-Pakistan propaganda being pedalled by the BJP- combine at the helm in India,” Asim Iftikhar Ahmad, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the neighbouring country’s government, said in Islamabad. “The Indian Government is driven by its belligerent and expansionist agenda embedded in the delusional notion of ‘Akhand Bharat’, which poses a grave threat to regional peace.”

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