New Delhi: In a bid to allay India’s concerns, the Chinese and Pakistani authorities in Urumqi have refuted reports about the presence of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The reports of Chinese military presence in Pakistan’s Federally Administered
Northern Areas have always been a headache for Indian authorities. On October 05, Indian Army Chief General VK Singh confirmed that there were over 4,000 PLA troops in PoK.
Tagging the Indian Army Chief’s claim as untrue, senior officials from China’s foreign office added Singh’s assertion must be the result of some misunderstanding.
“There are only Chinese construction teams working in the northern areas of Pakistan on certain development projects being carried out by Pakistan and China jointly. But the presence of the People’s Liberation Army’s troops there is out of question”, Zhang Xiaodi, the director general of the foreign affairs office in Urumqi, was quoted as saying by DNA.
In the meantime, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, Masood Ahmed Khan, refuted Indian reports about the presence of Chinese soldiers in Gilgit-Baltistan or along the Line of Control in Kashmir.
According to Khan, the reports were being spread in the backdrop of Pakistan’s decision to include, for the first time, Chinese troops in military exercises along the border near Punjab and Rajasthan. It was the 101 Engineering Regiment of the PLA that took part in military exercises in August 2011.
First Published: Sunday, October 16, 2011, 11:36