India To Step Up Infra Development After Chinese Pullout
India To Step Up Infra Development After Chinese Pullout
6 May 2013
The Daily Excelsior
: After the pullout by Chinese troops from Daulat Baig Oldi area of Ladakh, infrastructure development programme along the Line of Actual Control is expected to be stepped up besides beefing up of the presence of Indian Army there. Frenquency of patrolling along the LAC is also expected to be enhanced as per the new measures being contemplated by the Government, sources said here today. The Government is also planning to give final clearance to a Rs 84,000 crore Army proposal for raising the Mountain Strike Corps along the northeastern borders which will include deployment of IAF assets as per Army’s plans, they said. The force has been working on capability development in the North and Northeastern sector of the country in wake of the major modernisation of military infrastructure by China. Meanwhile, sources said there is a possibility of India re-adjusting its deployment plans in the Chumar area of J&K, where Indian troops are in an advantageous positions and can look deep into the Chinese territory. China has been demanding in the flag meetings that India should dismantle its infrastructure built there including some key forward bunkers, where Indian Army had moved in recent times. However, it is not clear as to what extent India agreed to its demands. The Indian positions in Chumar, sources said, give India the capability to keep an eye on China’s all-important Western Highway. The Chinese have been carrying out incursions and transgressions into the Chumar area considering its location and the Indian positions there, they said. Meanwhile, a day after India and China ended their three-week long face-off in Ladakh, the Indian Government today said there was no “deal” with China, which also confirmed that the “stand off” has been “terminated” but did not mention whether the status quo in the sector as it existed prior to April 15 will be restored or not. Dismissing speculation of any “deal” while resolving the situation, Government sources said the two sides have only agreed to sit and talk about the peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) while restoring to the status quo in the sector. Meanwhile, China stopped short of acknowledging that it’s troops, which had intruded 19 kms into Indian territory, were going back to position prior to April 15 but said the “stand off incident” has been resolved through “fruitful consultations”. In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswomen Hua Chunying said in a statement, “China and India have reached an agreement on resolving the incident in the western section of the border. “The frontier forces of the two countries have terminated the standoff at the Tiannan River Valley area”. She added, “Since troops from the two sides began facing off in the western section of the China-India border last month, both sides have moved forward and adopted a constructive and cooperative attitude and calmed the tensions through border-related mechanisms, diplomatic channels and border defence meetings”. In New Delhi, Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said India and China have agreed to restore status quo along Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh as it existed prior to April 15. Announcing this, he also said flag meetings have been held to work out modalities and to confirm the arrangements. The spokesperson also officially announced the two-day visit of External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to China from Thursday. Khurshid and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi “will discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of concern to both sides. They will also discuss the proposed visit to India of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang,” he said. The sources also dismissed reports that the recent Chinese incursion was a “military affair” and said it was probably done to bring to table Beijing’s concerns over India’s efforts to build up its defence capabilities along the Ladakh and Arunachal borders. When asked whether after the incursion, India will slow down or reverse its moves to build up its defence capabilities, they said, government will do what it needs to do. The Chinese aggressive posture, just over two months after the new leadership took over after once-in-decade leadership change came as surprise while observers say it is yet to be seen how the move and subsequent decision to pullout will play out in the secretive Chinese political system. Hua said maintaining peace in the border areas works in the common interests of the two countries and China would like to work with India to reach a “fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable resolution to border issues” at the earliest possible date. Earlier answering questions about China’s decision to pullout troops, Hua told a press briefing that “following the stand off incident at the border area, China and India with the larger interests of bilateral relations in mind have taken a cooperative and constructive attitude,” while exercising restraint and have properly handled the incident through relevant mechanisms, diplomatic channels and border meetings. To pointed questions about reports quoting Indian officials that both sides decided withdraw from the Daulat Beig Oldi area in Ladakh region, she said “So far as I know, relevant departments of the two countries have made positive progress in their friendly consultations,” Hua said. “I believe that both sides have the will and capability to properly resolve this incident as soon as possible and jointly maintain the healthy and stable growth of China-India relations,” she said. Pressed for more details on the settlement, prompting Chinese troops to agree to dismantle their tents, Hua said “I need to follow closely the latest information”. “As I said before the two sides bear in mind the larger interests of bilateral relations have taken a constructive and cooperative attitude and have maintained communication and consultation and have made positive progress,” she said. Asked whether the Chinese troops moved back from their position, when did that happen and how far they withdrew, she replied, “I have said the two sides have been constructive and cooperative and have been maintaining communications through relevant mechanism in the border regions”. “Relevant consultations have made positive progress. I know you are very concerned about this and I must tell you the correct information,” she said. “I believe the Chinese and Indian sides should maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas and work for the smooth development of bilateral relations,” she said.