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China should sit with India for demarcation in Ladakh: Omar

Last Updated: Monday, May 20, 2013 - 18:08

New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday asked China to sit with India and clearly demarcate the boundary in Ladakh region at the earliest to ensure that any incident like the recent incursion does no recur and peace prevails along the boundary.

The state shares a large boundary with China. "We are affected by what happens. It is no secret that tourism in Ladakh has been affected by the recent incursions," Omar said during his interaction with members of the Foreign Correspondents` Club in New Delhi.

He said the incursions was nowhere near the places where tourists visit but "suddenly you have a build up in the media about the tensions between the two countries".

"There is no demarcated Line of Actual Control, we understand that but having said that I don`t know in whose interest is that you come across, sets up camps and takes so long to go back," the Chief Minister said.

He was replying to a question as to what message he would wish to give to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang who is on an official visit to India.

"So I think my message to them would be to please allow us to live in our parts of the region as they chose to live in their parts and please sit down with the Indian side and work out. Let us have the formal demarcation and then we can do away with these incursions," he said.

He said tourism sector became a victim of the recent incursion incident following media spotlight. "We are hoping now that as the situation picks us, the number of tourists also will go up," Omar said.

Omar said he supported the message conveyed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that India wants to share good relations with China and maintain peace and tranquillity at the LAC under any circumstances.

He, however, expressed concern over the recent incursion along the LAC in Ladakh sector saying the Chinese have objected whenever India has taken development works on its side.

"It is for the first time that they (Chinese) had come and set up camps there which obviously was a cause of concern for us.

"The interesting development was that from time to time every time we try to do some development work in region, they have objected even though on that side of LAC, a lot of development work is going on," he said.

Asked about New Delhi`s approach to the recent incursion by the Chinese troops in Daulat Beg Oldi sector of Ladakh, Omar said "with the Chinese premier here, I don`t want to say anything that will send the mandarins in South Block into a tizzy.

"But it is true. Just for the moment just imagine Pakistani forces had come 19 kms inside the LoC and set up camps. How would we have reacted? I understand that comparing our relationship with Pakistan and comparing it with China is like comparing chalk and cheese. It is completely different.
"China has not sent terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir the way Pakistan has done. Our trade relations are completely different. In these special areas, our approach towards dealing with situations have been different.
"It has been, infact, the best way to go about it. Time will tell...," he said.


First Published: Monday, May 20, 2013 - 18:08
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