A day after Indian Army personnel were killed in violent clashes with Chinese troops in Ladakh, former defence minister and senior Congress leader A K Antony on Tuesday said he suspects that Beijing has some motive other than disrupting construction of a road by India. He said India should try to resolve the issue diplomatically, but without losing an inch of its land.
Antony demanded that the Centre tell the nation about the situation in Ladakh. He said no soldier had been killed in at the India-China border since 1975.
“I am awaiting the official response of the Government of India. But I can say very clearly that the Chinese Army had in the last few weeks encroached into Indian territory in 7-8 strategic locations in Ladakh. They have withdrawn from two-three locations after military-level talks. But in some strategic areas, including in Pangong Tso Lake Area, the Chinese Army — which had encroached upon several kilometres of Indian territory — is still there.”
He said the tension can be defused only if the status quo ante is restored. “It will be a test for China. Whether China wants to restore peace can be said only if status quo ante is restored…,” he said.
The former defence minister further said he does not believe that the present standoff is over the construction of a road by India.
“My suspicion is that China has some intention other than disrupting construction of a road… I cannot say anything more now because I am a former defence minister. I will wait for the response from the Indian government,” he told Malayalam television channels.
He said the defence minister or the external affairs minister should take the nation into confidence and inform people about what is happening.
Antony also stated that the developments in Nepal were very serious, and that the government should view the “provocation” seriously.
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