India Tells China To Stop Infrastructure Work In PoK5 September 2011
Times of India
New Delhi: India has asked China to stop its infrastructure development activities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, even as it keeps a close watch on Beijing's 'rapid' development of strategic roads, railway lines and airfields in Tibet as well as along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Defence minister A K Antony, in a written reply to Lok Sabha on Monday to a question posed by 18 MPs, said, 'Government is aware that China is undertaking infrastructure projects in PoK. We have conveyed our concerns to China about its activities in PoK and asked them to cease such activities.' This comes after senior Indian Army commanders recently warned that India not only faced the threat from Chinese troops along the LAC with China but it could well extend to the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan due to the expansive Beijing-Islamabad military nexus. Apart from the massive build-up of Chinese military infrastructure all along the 4,057-km LAC, especially in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), there is growing concern about the Chinese People's Liberation Army troops actually being stationed along the volatile 778-km-long LoC between India and Pakistan. Antony, on his part, said, 'China has also been carrying out rapid infrastructure development in TAR and in areas along the India-China border. It's carrying out construction of strategic roads, railway lines and airfields close to the LAC, which has improved its military capability.' As earlier reported by TOI, this includes five fully-operational airbases, an extensive rail network and over 58,000-km of roads in TAR. India is now belatedly taking steps to strategically counter China's build-up, which ranges from deploying Sukhoi-30MKI fighters in the North-East to plans to raise a new mountain strike corps after raising two new mountain infantry divisions, with 1,260 officers and 35,011 soldiers. While the 56 Division has its HQ in Zakama (Nagaland) under the Dimapur-based 3 Corps, the 71 Division at Missamari (Assam) falls in the operational command of the Tezpur-based 4 Corps.