March 2016 News

PLA Troops Spotted Along LoC In PoK

13 March 2016
The New Indian Express

Srinagar: After frequent incursions in the Ladakh area, China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops have been spotted at forward posts along the Line of Control (LoC) on the Pakistani side of Kashmir. The Army has spotted the presence of senior PLA officials at the forward posts opposite the Nowgam sector in north Kashmir, after which some intercepts of Pakistani army officers suggested that the Chinese troops have come to build some infrastructure along the Line of Control, sources in the know of the developments said on Sunday. The Army has officially maintained complete silence on the issue but has been constantly updating various intelligence agencies about the presence of PLA troops along the Line of Control, the sources said. The PLA troops were first spotted in the latter part of the last year and their presence was witnessed opposite to the Tangdhar sector as well. In this area, Chinese government-owned China Gezhouba Group Company Limited has been building a Jhelum-Neelum 970 MW Hydel power project. The hydel project is being built in response to India's Kishanganga power project being built in Bandipore of north Kashmir. The Indian project is designed to divert water from the Kishanganga to a power plant in the Jhelum river basin and will have an installed capacity of 330 MW. The intercepts also suggested that the PLA would be digging some tunnels in the Leepa Valley, located in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), to build an all-weather road which will serve as an alternative route to reach the Karakoram highway. To combat China, the Indian Air Force has geared up and refurbished its air capabilities in Arunachal Pradesh. The operational capability of the IAF got a major fillip with the relaunching of two upgraded Advanced Landing Grounds (ALG) at Ziro and Along in the State. 'The ALGs will further enhance our existing operational capabilities in Eastern Air Command.' said Air Marshal C Hari Kumar, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Air Command. 'The capacity build-up will enable operations by some of our new inductions including the C-130J Super Hercules. Besides enhancing the air maintenance capability of the IAF in the region, the new airfield will also facilitate civil air connectivity soon,' he added.