Spat with China can't be Ruled Out: Antony - The New Indian Express

Spat with China can't be Ruled Out: Antony

Published: 17th December 2013 08:35 AM

Last Updated: 17th December 2013 08:41 AM

In the wake of the latest Chinese aggression, which led to five Indian herdsmen being taken captive by Beijing’s People’s Liberation Army troops in Ladakh’s Chumar region, Union Defence Minister A K Antony on Monday said the possibility of similar conflicts could not be entirely ruled out in the future.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the wreath-laying ceremony at the Amar Jawan Jyoti here on the occasion of ‘Vijay Diwas’-- held each year to mark India’s epic victory against Pakistan in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War-- the Defence Minister also told the nation “not to expect any miracles” from the boundary talks with China, which are being spearheaded by National Security Adviser(NSA) Shivshankar Menon on the Indian side.

“Now, our intention is to maintain peace and tranquility. Whenever any incident takes place -- that possibility cannot be ruled out as the boundary is very long -- both sides should come together and resolve it amicably,” he said, when asked to comment on the LAC situation against the backdrop of the PLA   outrage earlier this month, which necessitated a Flag Meeting between the local military Commanders for securing the release of the abducted herdsmen.

According to Antony, the Indian nationals seized by the PLA in Chumar were civilians and not Army personnel. However, the matter was resolved amicably, he added.

On the much-touted Sino-Indian Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA), the Defence Minister said it  would not guarantee that the LAC incidents would never take place, but rather it would help in resolving such matters quickly. “After the agreement, by and large, whenever any issue arises we are able to resolve it as quickly as possible. It does not mean that there would not be any issue. As long as the Sino-Indian border row remains unresolved, there is always the possibility.”

Regarding the Sino-Indian border talks, the minister while cautioning his fellow countrymen not to expect any miracles in resolving the issue,though, said, “what we are trying is that till a satisfactory solution on the boundary issue is found, whenever incidents take place on the border, resolve those issues through discussions and official mechanism.”

“Of late, we have been able to resolve the issues without much delay. That is an improvement,” he pointed out.

New Delhi and Beijing had signed the BDCA during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the Communist nation in October. And the bilateral pact is aimed at preventing any possible military flare-up between the two nuclear-armed Asian giants along the 4,057 km-long LAC, where both have been building up their defences as well as infrastructure.

The Defence Minister, who had accompanied the PM to Beijing, had declared that the two sides had decided to maintain peace and tranquility along the LAC.

 

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