India, China To Develop Mechanism To Prevent Face-offs: Antony

India, China To Develop Mechanism To Prevent Face-offs: Antony

26 July 2013
The Daily Excelsior


New Delhi: India and China are trying to develop effective mechanisms to prevent the “embarrassing” face-offs between their troops along the “disputed” points of the Line of Actual Control, Defence Minister A K Antony said here today. Terming the 21-day stand-off between the two sides in Depsang valley in Daulat Beg Oldi area as an “unusual” incident, the Defence Minister said the two countries will meet soon in Beijing to discuss issues and try to find a solution for such “unpleasant incidents”. “Till the final settlement of the border issue, we are trying to find out more effective mechanisms to prevent occasional incidents. There are many points in the LAC that are disputed and they are patrolled by both sides. So, sometimes it leads to some face-off,” he told reporters on the 14th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas. The Minister was asked to comment on the rising incursions by the Chinese troops into the Indian territory along the LAC in Ladakh and North Eastern sectors. Antony said, “There are disputed points where both sides are going there which sometimes causes some embarrassing situations.” He said after the Depsang incident in April, India and China had “free and frank” talks and “we are trying to have more border personnel meeting places and have more effective mechanisms to prevent such unpleasant incidents.” “On the one side, both sides are trying to find a long term solution to the long pending border dispute. Till that time, our aim is to maintain peace and tranquillity at the border,” Antony said. On the recent third meeting of the Joint Working Group between the two sides, the Minister said free and frank discussions were held between both sides. “We are going to have another round of this meeting in Beijing soon on this issue. So, I think we will be able to find out a solutions to such unpleasant incidents on the border,” he said. In the recent past, there have been several incidents of incursions in Ladakh sector where Chinese troops have entered well within Indian side and stayed there for long hours before returning to their areas. In one such incident, Chinese troops had entered Chumar area in Ladakh on July 16-17 on horses and ponies and demanded that Indian troops leave the area staking claim over it. In the last two weeks, there have been at least five incursions in the area and around 150 incidents in the last seven months. In Drass, describing the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh as “well under control”, a top Army commander today said the force is committed to launch the “intelligence specific and people friendly” operations to counter the ongoing proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir. “To counter the ongoing proxy war, we are committed to launch intelligence specific and people friendly operations as also concerted counter-infiltration operations along the Line of Control,” General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Northern Command Lt-Gen Sanjiv Chachra said in his address at the Kargil War Memorial on the 14th anniversary of Operation Vijay at Drass. He said the recent surge in militant activities indicate an attempt to “revive terrorism” in the State. “There is an increase in ceasefire violations, additional infiltrations which indicate a determined attempt as also the rising frustration in the perpetrators of the proxy war,” he said, adding, “It also indicate that the terrorist infrastructure that has been put in place by our adversary across the border is still intact and there has been no change in his intention.” Ruling out repetition of 1999 situation when Pakistani troops intruded into the Indian territory, the Army commander said, “We have significantly strengthened our positions in western Ladakh since 1999 and also enhanced our surveillance and response capabilities. “We are well prepared not only to deny our adversary any opportunity but also to respond swiftly. Our soldier remain guardians of the northern frontier to ensure that the safety and security of the nation remains well protected,” he said. “While there have been some reports of incidents along the LAC with China, I wish to assure that our existing border management procedure and mechanisms with the Chinese are well in place,” Lt-Gen Chachra said, adding, “We have hot lines, flag meetings and Border Personnel meetings that enable us to resolve issues peacefully. The border situation is well under control.” He said the contribution of troops deployed in Jammu and Kashmir is selfless, dedicated and nationalistic. “I am positive that history will record our endeavours for the sake of the people and we are not alone in these efforts. It is in total consonance with the civil administration, Central and State police forces and the state government. It is this collective effort that brings peace and tranquillity in a state which has long been in turmoil,” he added.