Chinese soldiers present in PoK: Army Chief

NEW DELHI, Sept 19:

Chinese soldiers are present in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) to provide security to its ongoing railways and road projects there, Army Chief General Bikram Singh said here today.

“We are told that Chinese soldiers are there to provide protection to their ongoing projects related to their railways, road and hydro-electric projects and it is basically for security purposes,” the Army Chief said in an interaction with reporters here.

“We have already conveyed this to the Government and whatever is there, we have our frontiers guarded well,” Singh said when asked if the presence of Chinese troops in PoK was a matter of concern for the force.

India has already expressed its concerns to China over the presence of its troops in a territory claimed by India. Reports in the recent past have suggested that around 4,000 Chinese troops are present in PoK.

Asked if it was possible for any country to repeat 1962, Gen Singh said, “Such an event will not be repeated as the country’s forces have got plans in place to protect the territorial integrity of the nation.

“No. It will not be repeated. I am assuring the nation as Chief of the Army Staff that 1962 will not be repeated. No way. Country’s borders are well protected and the Army will not allow the enemy to cross it,” he said.

In next few months, it will be 50 years of Sino-India war during which the Chinese force had crossed over and entered territories in the north and northeastern region.

“I am not talking about any country. I am only assuring as Chief of the Army Staff. We have plans in place to safeguard the territorial integrity of our country. That is the assurance I am giving you,” he said.

When asked if he was satisfied with infrastructure development in the Northeast especially Arunachal Pradesh, the Army Chief said several projects were going on there but “yeh dil maange more (the heart wants more)”.

On reports of transgressions by Chinese troops into Indian territory, Gen Singh said there are “no transgressions as such”.

“The patrols meet and both sides show banners to say that this is our area and both sides disengage and that is an ongoing process that is going on. If there are issues, they are dealt with existing mechanisms that are there like hot lines and meetings of commanders on border,” he said.

On infrastructure development in the Northeast and Arunachal Pradesh, the Army Chief said, “We have to relate to the capacity of how much can we chew and how much we can do in an area.

“There are ongoing projects and they are time-stipulated. We are trying to meet those timelines. There is a saying that ‘ye dil maange more’.” (PTI)



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