4000 Chinese, Including PLA Men, In PoK: Army Chief5 October 2011
Times of India
New Delhi: The Indian security establishment is becoming increasingly concerned about the presence of around 4,000 Chinese construction personnel, including combat engineers from the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, even as infiltration levels across the Line of Control into J&K have recorded a sharp jump in recent days. 'There are certain construction working teams (in PoK)...Around 3,000 to 4,000 of these people (Chinese) are present, including some for security purposes,' said Army chief General V K Singh on Wednesday. Responding to questions on the sidelines of a function, Gen Singh said the Chinese teams in PoK included PLA combat engineers. This comes shortly after defence minister A K Antony told Parliament last month that India has asked China to stop its infrastructure development activities in PoK. 'We have conveyed our concerns to China and asked them to cease such activities,' he said. Even Northern Army commander Lt-Gen K T Parnaik has warned that India not only faces a threat from Chinese troops along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control with China but it could well extend to the 778-km volatile LoC with Pakistan due to the expansive Beijing-Islamabad military nexus. 'The Chinese presence in Gilgit-Baltistan and the Northern Areas is increasing steadily. China is involved in construction and upgradation of numerous roads, bridges and hydropower projects. Chinese links with Pakistan, through PoK, lend strength to the China-Pakistan nexus, which has been of great security concern for us,' said Lt-Gen Parnaik. Asked about the security situation in J&K, the Army chief said the terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan and PoK, with over 42 terror training camps, was very much alive and kicking. 'It's intact. A concentration of large number of terrorists on the other side exists and they are trying to infiltrate. We are making sure that their efforts fail,' said Gen Singh. Just in the last fortnight, for instance, the Army has killed over 10 terrorists in different encounters.