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‘China lining up troops along LoC in PoK’

Jammu: China’s presence in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is “increasing steadily” and its troops are “actually present” along the Line of Control, a top Army Commander said, adding the Chinese footprints are “too close for comfort” for India.

“Chinese presence in Gilgit-Baltistan and the Northern Areas is increasing steadily… There are many people who are concerned about the fact that if there was to be hostility between us and Pakistan, what would be the complicity of Chinese. Not only they are in the neighbourhood but the fact that they are actually present and stationed along the LoC,” Northern Army Commander Lt Gen KT Parnaik said here last week while addressing a seminar.

He said China’s links with Pakistan through PoK “lends strength” to the “nexus” between the two countries which is a cause of “great security concern” for India.

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“As part of (China’s) ‘strings of pearls’ policy, Chinese footprints are too close for comfort,” Parnaik added.

The Army Commander said such a nexus between the Chinese and Pakistani military “jeopardises our regional strategic interests in the long run and facilitates speedy and enhanced deployment of Pakistan armed forces to complement China’s military operations and thus outranks India.”

He said China has been found to be involved in the construction of numerous roads and several hydro-power projects inside PoK.

Beijing is laying a web of roads that run across areas as distant from each other as Skardu in PoK and Kunming in China near Myanmar border.

China has already constructed roads connecting all its highways to logistic centres and major defence installations that dot the border with India and the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in south-eastern Jammu and Kashmir.

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