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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

India hits back, asks China to lay off PoK

October 15, 2009

Tushar Srivastava, Rahul Singh
Hindustan Times
October 15, 2009

New Delhi -- India let loose a barrage of
justification and counter criticism upon China on
Wednesday, responding aggressively both to
President Hu Jintao’s statement that China would
continue to support projects in Pakistan Occupied
Kashmir (PoK), as well as to its earlier
objections to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visiting Arunachal Pradesh.

"Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India
and the just-concluded assembly election has
proved that it was held under the Indian
Constitution,” said Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Kolkata.

"We have never said anything about China
developing infrastructure and airbases in Tibet,"
said Indian Air Force Vice-Chief Air Marshal P K
Barbara in New Delhi. “So they should also not tell us."

For good measure, Home Minister P Chidambaram,
visiting Srinagar, chose to reiterate: "Chinese
workers can come to India only on employment visa, no more on business visas."

In an official statement, the Ministry of
External Affairs declared that China was "fully
aware of India’s position, and our concerns about
Chinese activities in PoK.” It urged China to
take ‘a long term view’ of India-China relations
and refrain from supporting development in areas
‘illegally occupied’ by Pakistan.

President Hu had made a commitment to Pakistan
Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani during the
latter’s visit to Beijing that China would help
upgrade the Karakoram highway that connects
Pakistan and China, and support the Neelam-Jhelum hydroelectric project in PoK.

India has always been wary of China and Pakistan
joining forces in PoK. A defence ministry report
recently sounded the alarm over the “direct
military implications” for India if this occurred.

Wary of Beijing’s strategic designs, the report
alerted against the possibility of China
"enhancing connectivity" with Pakistan through
disputed territories in Jammu and Kashmir, including PoK.

The 1962 India-China war ended with China seizing
some 38,000 sq km of Indian territory in Aksai
Chin in the eastern-most fringes of J&K. Pakistan
went on to unilaterally cede another 5,120 km of
territory in northern Kashmir to China under a 1963 pact.

India-China relations have worsened in recent
weeks. While China expressed unhappiness over
Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, India
had recently lodged a protest with Beijing over
the Chinese embassy issuing stapled visas to
residents of Kashmir instead of stamping it on their passports.
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