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Hands off projects in PoK, India tells China

Last updated on: October 14, 2009 12:33 IST
A day after India and China sparred aggressively over the ownership status of Arunachal Pradesh, India said that China must cease activities in Pak-Occupied Kashmir.

India in a response to a question on Pakistan-China projects in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), the official spokesperson of the government said, "We have seen the Xinhua report quoting the President of China as stating that China will continue to engage in projects with Pakistan inside Pakistan Occupied Kashmir."

"Pakistan has been in illegal occupation of parts of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir since 1947. The Chinese side is fully aware of India's position and our concerns about Chinese activities in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir," he said.

"We hope that the Chinese side will take a long term view of the India-China relations, and cease such activities in areas illegally occupied by Pakistan," the spokesperson added.

The Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday reiterated that the state of Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India. A spokesman of the ministry issued the statement shortly after China expressed 'strong' dissatisfaction over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh for electioneering.

"The state of Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India. The people of Arunachal Pradesh are citizens of India. They are proud participants in the mainstream of India's vibrant democracy. The Chinese side is well aware of this position of the government of India," said the official spokesperson.

"It is well established practice in our democratic system that our leaders visit states where elections to Parliament and to the state assemblies are taking place. The government of India is deeply committed to ensuring the welfare of its own citizens across the length and breadth of our country," the official spokesperson added.

Expressing disappointment over the statement made by the official spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the official spokesperson said, "India and China have jointly agreed that the outstanding boundary question will be discussed by the special representatives appointed by the two governments. We, therefore, express our disappointment and concern over the statement made by the official spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, since this does not help the process of ongoing negotiations between the two governments on the boundary question."

Source: ANI