MoS defence Subhash Bhamre. Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day-long Doklam standoff from 16 June 2017 after the Indian side stopped road construction in the disputed area by the Chinese Army. Photo: HT
MoS defence Subhash Bhamre. Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day-long Doklam standoff from 16 June 2017 after the Indian side stopped road construction in the disputed area by the Chinese Army. Photo: HT

India-China border remains sensitive, has potential to escalate: Subhash Bhamre

The situation at the Line of Actual Control is sensitive and incidents of patrolling, transgression and standoffs have a potential of escalation, says junior defence minister Subhash Bhambre

New Delhi: Eight months after the Doklam standoff, junior defence minister Subhash Bhamre on Thursday said the situation along the India-China border is “sensitive" and it has the potential to escalate.

“At the Line of Actual Control the situation is sensitive as incidents of patrolling, transgression and standoffs have a potential of escalation," he said. The nearly 4,000-km-long border between the two countries is referred to as Line of Actual Control (LAC).

“While confidence building measures are being enhanced, we shall continue to take all action deemed necessary to ensure sanctity of LAC," the minister of state for defence said, addressing a seminar on the Army’s contribution to nation building.

Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day-long Doklam standoff from 16 June 2017 after the Indian side stopped the building of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese Army.

The face-off ended on 28 August. Sources said China has been keeping its troops in north Doklam and significantly ramping up its infrastructure in the disputed area.

In January, Army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat had said the time had come for India to shift its focus from borders with Pakistan to the frontier with China, indicating that situation along it was worrying.

Talking about the regional security situation, Bhamre also talked about likelihood of Pakistan becoming a “conduit" for spread of Islamic State ideologies to countries like India.

He also said that rising instability in India’s neighbourhood had increased the possibility of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non state actors.

“Today, we are facing a difficult neighbourhood with myriad security challenges. Ceasefire violation along the Line of Control continues to target Army and civilians.

Situation in hinterland in Jammu and Kashmir remains a challenge," he said. Bhamre also emphasised the need to effectively deal with “inimical threats" to the country and added that rise in religious fundamentalism and its spread through social media remains a cause of concern.

“We need to continue with firm action to negate, mitigate and destroy elements inimical to our security," he said.

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