Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, will take part in the meeting that has been called by Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, on Saturday in Gangtok, to review the growing hostilities between Indian and China. CM will brief Rajnath Singh about the growing skirmishes between Indian and Chinese troops along the line of actual control (LAC) in Leh.
The meeting of the Chief Ministers of five Himalayan states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh is being held to discuss the development of roads, bridges and other infrastructure along the 3,488 km-long China-India border.
This is the first time such a meeting is being held by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The meeting comes days after India refused to participate in the Belt and Road initiative in Beijing and a month after the diplomatic tussle with China over the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
The main agenda of the meeting will be the construction of roads along the China-India border, redressal of the situation arising from the lack of infrastructure in frontier areas and a host of other issues, said officials.
According to officials, growing hostilities between the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Chinese People’s Liberation Army PLA), as well as objections by Chinese troops over construction works at Demchok in Leh would also figure in the meeting.
Indian Authorities have also raised issue of incursions along LAC by Chinese troops. The issues including the incursions as well as the building of construction projects were earlier discussed in the border personnel meetings (BOP). New Delhi has also said that there were different perceptions over the LAC leading to incursions from Chinese side.
China has however maintained that it believes in the Panchsheel principles of “mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty”. Tensions between India and China are also high due to the building of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and has reiterated that the principal of Panchsheel enunciated by India and China in 1954 speaks of “mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty”.
BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav had described CPEC as India’s Achilles’ heel.”Adding insult to injury for India is the very name of the project, CPEC, although the region through which it passes does not belong either to Pakistan or to China,” he said.
India skipped the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) held in Bejing on 14-15 May due to its sovereignty concerns over the CPEC which passes through Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK).