J&K, Ladakh India’s integral part, ‘China has no locus standi to comment’: MEA

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New Delhi (NVI): In a strong rebuttal to China’s claims over Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, India today said that China has no locus standi to comment on India’s internal matters, days after Beijing’s remarks on the opening of 44 bridges in border areas.

“The union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been, are, and would remain an integral part of India. China has no locus standi to comment on India’s internal matters,” MEA spokesman Anurag Srivastava said during his weekly briefing here.

Srivastava further said that India’s position on Arunachal Pradesh has also been made clear several times. “Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India. This fact has also been clearly conveyed to the Chinese side on several occasions, including at the highest level,” he said.

On Monday, China had reacted after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had inaugurated 44 bridges in border areas, saying that it “does not recognize the Ladakh Union Territory illegally set up by India and Arunachal Pradesh”.

Singh inaugurated 44 major permanent bridges by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in strategically key areas located in seven States and Union Territories of in Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

Zhao Lijian, spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, had called border infrastructure development “the root cause for tension between the two sides” and said neither country should take action that might escalate tensions.

Srivastava, in his briefing today also said India hopes that countries will not comment on its internal matters, “as much as they expect the same of others.”

Apart from that, the MEA spokesman also talked about the 7th round of the Senior Commanders talks held on 12 October.

He said that as indicated in the joint press release after the meeting, the talks were positive and constructive. “The two sides have a better understanding of each other’s positions,” he said.

He said that disengagement is a complex process that requires redeployment of troops by each side towards their regular posts on their respective sides of the LAC.

“To achieve this, the two sides will maintain the current momentum of communications based on the guidance of our leadership to not to turn differences into disputes and work towards a mutually acceptable solution for complete disengagement in all the friction areas along the Line of Actual Control and restoration of peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas,” he added.

-ARK