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Centre must give exact ground position in Ladakh: Omar Abdullah

Press Trust of India
May 06, 2013 at 01:21pm IST

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said the Centre must clarify the ground situation in Ladakh region following withdrawal of the Chinese troops from Daulat Beg Oldi sector.

"Some amount of clarity from Government of India, particularly from the Ministry of Defence, would be desired so that we would know exactly what the ground position is. But the fact that the Chinese have withdrawn is something we welcome," Omar said in Srinagar.

Referring to media reports about both India and China pulling back troops from the stand off point at Daulat Beg Oldi sector on Sunday, the Chief Minister said while the Chinese withdrawal from the area was understandable, he could not apprehend where the Indian troops pulled back from in the area.

Centre must give exact position in Ladakh: Omar

He said while the Chinese withdrawal from the area was understandable, he could not apprehend why the Indian troops pulled back.

"The only doubt one has in mind based on the reports in the media that it was a withdrawal by both sides - both India and China withdrew. I am wondering where India withdrew from and where India withdrew to because this is our territory, this is our side of the Line of Actual Control," he said.

Omar said while there have been regular incursions by the Chinese forces on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), it was after a long time that Chinese came and established a tented camp on Indian side of LAC.

"The fact they were there for 19 days was a long enough time," Omar said. He expressed satisfaction that the diplomatic measures undertaken by the Centre following the incursions have yielded the desired results.

"I am glad that the diplomatic measures that the Government of India undertook gave us the desired results and the Chinese forces withdrew yesterday," the Chief Minister said.

Doubts were expressed about External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid's scheduled visit to China on May 9 following the standoff, Omar said, adding the visit now brings hope that measures would be taken to avoid such incidents.

"Obviously, the presence of the Chinese forces on the Indian side of LAC, the visit of our Foreign Minister to China had been called into question. Now, one hopes that this visit can go ahead and measures will be put in place to avoid such incidents," he added.

The 20-day-old standoff between the Chinese and Indian Army in Daulat Beg Oldi sector of Ladakh ended on Sunday when troops from both sides decided to withdraw to their respective pre-incursion positions.

The breakthrough came after hectic discussions and four flag meetings between the commanders of the two armies. It was decided that troops from both sides will pull back simultaneously following which the process was completed at 7.30 PM on Sunday.

Fifty troops from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) had crossed 19 kilometres inside the Indian territory at DBO on the LAC and set up a tented post on the intervening night of April 15 and 16.

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