No Headway In Standoff As China Insists On Dismantling Bunkers

No Headway In Standoff As China Insists On Dismantling Bunkers

29 April 2013
The Daily Excelsior


New Delhi: Efforts to break the stand-off due to the Chinese incursion are apparently bearing no fruit because of China’s insistence that some bunkers constructed by India at a key vantage point be dismantled. China is understood to have laid down this condition before the Indian side for going back from the place 19 km inside the Indian territory in Daulat Beg Oldi where its troops have been camping for the last over two weeks, sources said here. The Government is taking a look into these issues in the meetings of the China Study Group headed by the National Security Advisor and including secretaries of key ministries such as Defence, Home and External Affairs, they said. The rigidity shown by the Chinese over this demand is also one of the reasons why there has been no flag meetings between the two sides for over a week now, the sources said. They said the vantage point is at a junction between two mountains in Ladakh area from where the Indian Army troops could remain unseen and oversee the activities of the Chinese troops in that area. After the Chinese troops observed the Indian position there due to the movement of vehicles and soldiers, they intruded into Indian territory on April 15 to press for their demands. The vantage point is at a location which is claimed by both sides as their territory, they said. Meanwhile, the stand-off is continuing in the DBO where the Chinese soldiers are getting continued supplies from trucks and light vehicles from its side of the border. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had said India has a plan to resolve the issue and it was working on it. All the actions in the case are being taken by the China Study Group and all other stakeholders have been asked to maintain silence over the sensitive issue. Chinese troops have erected one more tent in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector in Ladakh raising to five the number of such structures in the area of incursion, as the standoff between India and China today entered the third week. With China showing no signs of withdrawing its troops from the Indian territory, sources said efforts to break the impasse over the incursion are yielding no results because of its insistence that some bunkers constructed by India at a key vantage point be dismantled. China is understood to have laid down this condition before the Indian side for pulling back from the place 19 Km inside the Indian territory in DBO where around 50 troops have been camping for the last over two weeks, sources said. According to a detailed report from the site of incursion, the additional tent has come up after three failed Flag meetings between Indian and Chinese Armies at Chashul. As the Government came under opposition attack on the incursion issue, Congress said it is well aware of the situation in Ladakh. “As and when an appropriate action is necessary, the Government will take it,” Congress spokesperson Sandip Dikshit said. He also emphasized that war is not an option in such scenarios. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who is in Moscow, said this was not the time for scoring points but for speaking in one voice. Meanwhile, members in the Lok Sabha today voiced concern over intrusion by Chinese troops in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, with crucial UPA ally Samajwadi Party objecting to the upcoming visit of External Minister Salman Khurshid to Beijing. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav took the lead in targeting the Government for “doing nothing” and alleged that it was acting in a “cowardly” manner in dealing with the intrusion. Describing China as the “biggest enemy”, the former Defence Minister said during Zero Hour, “We have been warning that China has started occupying our territory. But Government is not listening to all this.” He said the Indian Army has said it is ready to remove all intruders but there is no action. “This Government is cowardly, incompetent and good for nothing,” he said, while objecting to the upcoming visit of Khurshid to China. Khurshid is scheduled to travel to Beijing on May 9 in connection with preparations for Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit here next month. Amid continuous slogan-shouting by BJP members in the Well over coal issue, Yadav said he had raised the issue several times with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Defence Minister A K Antony, but to no avail. “I went to his (PM’s) chamber to talk to him. But no action was taken.” Claiming that one lakh square km of Indian territory has been “occupied” by China, he accused the Government of “doing nothing”. “When the Army chief himself says the troops are ready to respond, why is the Government not issuing instructions to it? They (China) insulted us in 1962. They are insulting us now in the world fora,” Yadav said. He was supported by B Mahtab (BJD) and Sudip Bandyopadhyay (TMC), who demanded a statement from the Prime Minister on the incursion on April 16 by Chinese troops who have pitched tents 19 km inside Indian territory in Daulat Beg Oldi area. The SP chief said after the 1962 war, it was decided that till China moved away from “every inch of our land, we will not hold any talk with them. But now a Minister is going to China to hold discussions.” Demanding that the House be briefed about the situation, Yadav said while the Government had not taken any step to check the intrusion, “with a heavy heart I have to say that even the Chair has not directed the Government to act.” He wanted the Chair to intervene in this “serious matter”. Describing China as “our biggest enemy”, he said “The threat from China is greater than Pakistan.” Supporting Yadav, Mahtab and Bandyopadhyay sought immediate statement from the Prime Minister on the ground situation in the Ladakh. They also said urgent steps should be be taken to prevent such intrusions by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Several members also wanted to speak on the issue but Congress member Girija Vyas, who was in the Chair, adjourned the House till 2 PM as BJP members continued to raise slogans in the Well.