Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday wondered what New Delhi's response would have been had Pakistan intruded into Indian territory, and asked for a clear cut message to China. He was referring to the situation that has arisen in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) area in Ladakh, where the Chinese troops have set up their tented posts since April 15, 2013.
"Had Pakistan intruded into the Indian territory 10-15 km, the whole nation would have been staging protests and expressing outrage," Abdullah told a public meeting at Kathua district, some 300 km from Jammu. Chinese troops have set up a post inside Indian territory, about 10 km from the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de-facto border between India and China. The Chinese set up the post April 15. India has asked Beijing to maintain the status quo that existed before the April 15, 2013 intrusion.
Comparing the Chinese intrusion in Ladakh and the look-alike situation from Pakistani side, Abdullah who was also a minister of state for external affairs in the NDA government, said: "We would have snapped our trade and travel talks, discontinued our cricketing ties and so on, but when it came to Chinese intrusions, there is a calm as if nothing has happened."
Abdullah asked the central government "to give a clear cut message to China on the intrusion issue," adding that such situations hamper development in the frontier areas. "We would like the central government to take up this issue with both China and Pakistan strongly and on the same terms so that no such incident takes place in future," he said.
He said people of Jammu, Kashmir, Leh, Kargil and all other areas of the state have given sacrifices to protect and preserve the solidarity, harmony and brotherhood. "They want to be free from such intrusions and live in an atmosphere of calm and peace and carry on the day-to-day life activities smoothly and without any interference."
Abdullah said the state witnessed militancy for over 20 years and suffered a lot both in respect of losing human lives and by way of huge damage to infrastructure and economy. He said the gun had given us deep wounds and had added difficulties in every sphere of life. "Now we are in the process of restoring peace and a beam of light is in sight at the end of the dark tunnel," he said.
The cold desert region of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir has about 650 km of LAC with China, which is not demarcated at most places. Indian and Chinese local military commanders on Tuesday held a flag meeting for the second time to resolve the stand-off over incursion by Chinese troops into the Indian side of the LAC in Ladakh.