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Pakistan rejects India’s cross-LoC infiltration claim

Pakistan had also observed a Black Day in July to protest the deaths in Jammu and Kashmir and also termed Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani a "martyr"

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  • Bilateral ties between India and Pakistan took another dip on Tuesday, August 9, 2016, after Pakistan rejected India’s claim of cross-LoC infiltration
  • Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar summoned Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit and issued a strong demarche on continuing cross-border terrorism from Pakistan
  • The demarche said India strongly protests against the continued infiltration from Pakistan of trained terrorists with instructions to carry out attacks

Bilateral ties between India and Pakistan took another dip on Tuesday, August 9, 2016, after Pakistan rejected India’s claim of cross-LoC infiltration.

In response to a media question regarding summoning of Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India to protest cross-LoC infiltration, a Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson said, “We strongly reject Indian claim of any cross-LoC infiltration. Pakistan remains committed to the policy of not allowing its territory for any terrorist activity against anyone.”

“However, it is necessary to establish the veracity of the Indian claim. Details in this regard will be gathered,” the spokesperson added.

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Days after India and Pakistan clashed over the turmoil in Kashmir at a SAARC meet in Islamabad, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar summoned Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit and “issued a strong demarche on continuing cross-border terrorism from Pakistan” a Ministry of External Affairs statement said.

The demarche made specific reference to LeT (Lashkar-e-Toiba) terrorist and Pakistan national Bahadur Ali who was apprehended recently, MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

Vikas Swaroop. Image source: www.insubcontinent.com
Vikas Swaroop. Image source: www.insubcontinent.com

The demarche stated that Pakistani national Bahadur Ali alias Abu Saifullah was arrested by Indian authorities in Jammu and Kashmir on July 25 along with weapons, including an AK-47 rifle, live rounds of ammunition, grenades and grenade launcher, as well as sophisticated communication equipment and other material of Pakistani and international origin.

It said Bahadur Ali, born on December 17, 1995, is the son of Mohammed Haneef, a resident of Jia Bagga village in the Lahore district of Pakistan’s Punjab province.

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“Bahadur Ali has confessed to our authorities that after training in Lashkar-e-Toiba camps, he was infiltrated into India,” the demarche said.

“He was thereafter in touch with ‘operations room’ of LeT, receiving instructions to attack Indian security personnel and carry out terrorist attacks in India.”

The demarche said India “strongly protests against the continued infiltration from Pakistan of trained terrorists with instructions to carry out attacks”.

This was contrary to assurances given by Pakistani leaders at the highest level, it added.

It also said that Bahadur Ali wrote to the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi seeking legal aid and assistance to meet his family.

“We are prepared to grant the Pakistan High Commission consular access to Bahadur Ali,” the demarche concluded.

The Indian action comes less than a week after an SAARC ministerial meet in Islamabad saw the bilateral tensions over Kashmir come to the fore. Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had slammed the “use of excessive force”, referring to the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, while Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh criticised the “glorification of terrorists as martyrs”.

Violence in Kashmir started after killing of Burhan Wani. Image Source: defence.pk
Violence in Kashmir started after killing of Burhan Wani. Image Source: defence.pk

Both sides did not hold a bilateral meeting, and Rajnath Singh also did not stay for a lunch for the Saarc interior ministers as his Pakistani counterpart, despite giving the invite, left early.

Pakistan had also observed a Black Day last month in July to protest the deaths in Jammu and Kashmir and also termed Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani a “martyr”.

The killing of Wani on July 8 has led to a spiral of protests and violence in Kashmir, leaving over 50 people dead in clashes with security forces. (IANS)

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India China’s Fight Over the Doklam Plateau Explained

Doklam or Donglang, is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India

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picture from- indiaopines.com

By Ruchika Verma

  • India and China have an old history of disputes
  • This time, the dispute is regarding the Dokplam Plateau
  • The area is of strategic importance for both the nations

Disputes between India and China are not at all uncommon. The rivalry between the two nations is famous. There have been several disputes between the two on the India-China border in past, and there seems to be no stopping for these disputes in the present or future, for that matter.

India and China have a n old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com
India and China have an old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com

In June 2017, the world witnessed yet another dispute arising between India and China. This time the dispute was about China building a road extending to Doklam Plateau, which both nations have been fighting over for years now.

Also Read: China is likely to get involved if India disrupts $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

History of the dispute 

Doklam or Donglang (in Chinese), is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India. India doesn’t directly claim the area but supports Bhutan’s claims on it.

India fits into the picture, as this plateau is an important area for India. Not only is Bhutan one of the biggest allies of India; China gaining access over the Doklam Plateau will also endanger India’s borders, making them vulnerable to attacks.

Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan's borders.
Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan’s borders.

Apart from the hostile history of the two nations, the Doklam Plateau is also important for India to maintain its control over a land corridor that connects to its remote northeastern States. China building a road through Doklam surely threatens that control.

A complete timeline of what happened in the recent Doklam Standoff 

On 16 June 2017, Chinese troops with construction vehicles and excavators began extending an existing road southward on the Doklam plateau, near India’s border. It was Bhutan which raised the alarm for India.

On 18 June 2017, India responded by sending around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers to evict the Chinese troops from Doklam.

On 29 June 2017, Bhutan protested against the construction of a road in the disputed territory.  According to the Bhutanese government, China attempted to extend a road in an area which is shared both Bhutan and India, along with China.

Between 30 June 2017 and 5 July 2017, China released multiple statements justifying their claim over the Doklam plateau. They cited reasons as to why the Doklam standoff wasn’t really needed. And how China has not intruded into India’s territory to incite the standoff.

On 19th July 2017, China asked India again to withdraw its troops from the Doklam. On 24th July 2017,  Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his statement, asked India to withdraw and behave themselves to maintain peace.

India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC
India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC

Also Read: Why India Must Counter China’s High-Altitude Land Grab?

What followed till 16th August 2017 was China constantly alleging India of trying to create trouble. They accused India of trying to disturb the peace and not withdrawing the troops, even after repeated reminders. They also accused India of bullying.

India, however, kept quiet during the whole fiasco, only releasing a statement regarding their stand and position at the Doklam standoff.

On 28 August 2017, India and China finally announced that they had agreed to pull their troops back from the Doklam standoff. The withdrawal was completed on that very day.

On 7 September 2017, many media reports claimed that both nation’s troops have not left the site completely. They were still patrolling the area, simply having moved 150 meters away from their previous position.

On 9 October 2017, China announced that it is ready to maintain peace with India at the frontiers. India reacted in affirmative, the peace was established when Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s visited Nathu La.

The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay
The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay

The Doklam issue, for now, is resolved. However, given the history of disputes between India and China, it won’t be a surprise if the issue resurfaces again in near future.