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Qureshi urges India to ‘behave responsibly’ in border dispute with China


ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday lashed out at New Delhi for “threatening regional peace via its aggressive attitude” as tensions between China and India grew surrounding the Ladakh region amid reports of both countries’ soldiers engaging in disputes.

“India’s intentions do not look good,” said FM Qureshi, speaking to Geo News. “India has already heated up the occupied Kashmir front and you know very well its attitude towards Nepal [on border issue],” he said, adding that New Delhi was also sabotaging peace in Afghanistan.

He blamed India for giving rise to tensions in the region by carrying out construction activities in territory that was considered disputed between it and China. “A war was fought between India and China in 1962 and again, India is resorting to aggressive posturing in the same territory,” he said.

The foreign minister urged the Indian government to exhibit responsible behaviour by making use of the “mechanisms of dialogue and consultations to solve disputes”.

Commenting on Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and tri-services chiefs on the border dispute with China, Qureshi said that it remains to be seen what India’s intentions in the region are.

“Pakistan has said this over and over again. I have said this to the UN Secretary-General and written letters to the UN Security Council that India is threatening peace [in the region] through its aggressive behaviour,” he said.

India-China standoff intensifies at eastern Laddakh with troop buildup

The standoff between India and China at the disputed eastern Laddakh border area intensified a few days ago with Indian media reports claiming both sides have increased their troops in the area.

As per a report by ThePrint, Beijing has also beefed up security on its side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC)by locating an estimated 1,200 to 1,300 troops near the Pangong Lake.

The report, citing sources, said that Chinese soldiers moved into the “finger areas” of Pangong Lake whilst it bolstered its troop strength at the LAC. “The Pangong Lake’s northern bank juts forward like a palm, and the various protrusions are identified as “fingers” to demarcate territory.”

Sources had further said that while the Chinese soldiers maintained that they remained within their borders, they did, however, believe that 3 km within India’s perception of the LAC was crossed. 

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