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17 Jul 2017

Pakistan media report on 158 Indian soldiers killed in Sikkim malicious: MEA

Gopal Baglay, the official spokesperson of the foreign ministry, Gopal Baglay addresses the media.PTI, 17, July 2017: India on Monday termed as “utterly baseless, malicious and mischievous” a report about casualties of Indian soldiers in Sikkim due to military action with another country.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay also said that no cognisance should be taken of these reports by responsible media.
“Such reports are utterly baseless, malicious and mischievous,” Baglay said in response to a query on reports in Pakistani media.
His reaction came after a Pakistani media organisation reported at least 158 Indian soldiers have been killed on Monday as China fired rockets across the border on Indian border installations.

IANS,17 July, New Delhi:  India on Monday rejected as “utterly baseless, malicious and mischievous” reports in a section of the Pakistani media claiming that over 150 Indian Army soldiers died in Sikkim due to a Chinese rocket attack.
Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay said “such reports are utterly baseless, malicious and mischievous. No cognisance should be taken of them by responsible media”.
His response was to a report by Pakistan’s Dunya news channel claiming that 158 Indian soldiers were killed in a Chinese cross border rocket attack.
Dunya said that many Indian soldiers were also wounded in the purported rocket attack. It said “A two-minute footage that was broadcast on China Central Television showed the Chinese soldiers attacking an ‘enemy position’ using rocket launchers, machine guns, and mortars”.
Bilateral tension between China and India has escalated over the past few weeks over a stand-off between their armies in Doklam region in the Sikkim sector, with Beijing demanding that New Delhi withdraw its troops for any dialogue to take place.
The Chinese state-run media has also been openly talking of war and of teaching India a “lesson” like the defeat of the 1962 war.

ANI, New Delhi , Jul 17  : India on Monday categorically denied reports coming from Chinese media that the Chinese Army killed 158 Indian soldiers and fired rockets across the Sikkim border.
This came a day after China's army conducted new drills in Tibet that included targeting enemy aircraft and tanks.
"Such reports are utterly baseless, malicious and mischievous. No cognisance should be taken of them by responsible media," Ministry of External Affairs Minsiter official spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.
The response came after Chinese Army carried out attacks across the Sikkim border wounding several Indian soldiers, reported Dunya news citing a two minute video footage that was broadcasted by the China Central Television (CCTV).
The video footage showed the Chinese soldiers attacking an Indian posts using rocket launchers, machine guns, and mortars.
This incident came amidst India-China's month long stand-off in China, Bhutan, and India tri-junction Doklam border.
The stand-off emerged after Chinese troops were stopped by the Indian Army from construction roads in the Doklam border.
India claims Sikkim border as part of its territory, while China has said that the area falls on their side as per the 1890 treaty signed between British and China.
Consequently, China suspended the annual Kailash Manasarovar yatra and conceded that the decision to suspend the pilgrimage was due to the border scuffle.

It also alleged that the Indian troops had crossed the Sikkim sector of the Indo-China border. Beijing has accused New Delhi of violating a convention signed in 1890 between Britain and China relating to Sikkim and Tibet. (ANI)
Related News: 
Sikkim border dispute: Indian Army deploys 2,500 more soldiers to site while China hints at Kashmir unrest 
First Post,  11 July 2017: Even as the Sikkim border dispute between India and China shows no sign of abating, the Indian Army seems to have settled in for the long haul.
The army has pitched in tents, indicating that they are unlikely to retreat unless there was reciprocity from China's People's Liberation Army personnel in ending the face-off at an altitude of around 10,000 feet in the Sikkim section.
A steady line of supplies is being maintained for the soldiers at the site, official sources said, signalling that Indian Army is not going to wilt under any pressure from China. According to a report in The Times of India, India has moved 2,500 soldiers from their peace-time deployments in Sikkim to further reinforce its proactive stance.
Meanwhile, events are unfurling at breakneck speed on both sides of the border. Here are the most recent developments:
Officials on both sides soothe fears
On Monday, Li Rongrong, Second Secretary in the Economic and Commercial Counsellor's Office of the Chinese Embassy in India allayed fears of India-China economic ties being affected.
"Both India and China enjoy long cooperation as our lands are connected," Li said at a promotion conference of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo to be held in the city of Dongguan in the Chinese province of Guangdong from 21 to 24 September.
Mohammad Sadiq, Secretary-General of the India-China Economic and Cultural Council, said that the current border standoff was an issue that would pass off quickly.
He assured that despite an advisory issued by the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi, all Chinese businesspersons in India were as safe as before.
Rahul Gandhi met Chineseambassador, Congress admits
On Monday, after reports emerged about Congress denying that its vice-president Rahul Gandhi met with Chinese ambassador Luo Zhaohui on 8 July in New Delhi, the Grand Old Party did a complete U-turn.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala admitted that Gandhi had met the ambassadors of the neighbouring countries even as the party downplayed the meeting and did not specify its venue or time. Surjewala termed it a "courtesy call" and said envoys of G5, as well as neighbouring countries, keep meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the vice-president from time to time.
News18 earlier reported that the Chinese Embassy's website that had said that the two "exchanged views" on the "current bilateral relations" between the two nations. The Embassy website later deleted the post.
Surjewala had denied such media reports on Rahul's meeting with Zhaohui as "fake news". He had also alleged that the report was planted by the external affairs ministry and Intelligence Bureau sources.
New Delhi allows Tibetan government access to Pangong Lake, China reacts sharply
On Monday, The Economic Times reported that the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday allowed the Tibetan government in exile — on the eve of the Dalai Lama's 82nd birthday — to perform rituals on the shores of Ladakh's famed Pangong Lake along the disputed boundary with China and pray for the long life of their leader.
China responded by publishing an editorial in the state-run Global Times, warned India to refrain from playing the "Dalai Lama card":
"When the Indian government attaches great importance to its relationship with China, it keeps a tight grip on anti-China political activities on its soil. However, when it is dissatisfied or has conflicts with Beijing, the Tibet card is played up. But India may overestimate the influence of Tibetan exiles. With the rise of China and as Tibet becomes better off, Tibetan independence runs counter to the will of Tibetans. The space for Tibetan separatists has been largely squeezed as more Western countries have snubbed the Dalai Lama. The Tibet card is gradually losing its value. If New Delhi is pulling the strings of the Tibetan exiles' political act of flag-hoisting, it will only have burned itself."
Chinese media says 'third country's army' could enter Kashmir

An analyst at a Chinese think tank stated a  "third country's" army could enter Kashmir at Pakistan's request, using the "same logic" the Indian Army used to stop the Chinese military from constructing a road in the Doka La area in the Sikkim sector on behalf of Bhutan.

Long Xingchun, director at the Centre for Indian Studies at China West Normal University, wrote in the Global Times:
"Even if India were requested to defend Bhutan's territory, this could only be limited to its established territory, not the disputed area.  Otherwise, under India's logic, if the Pakistani government requests, a third country's army can enter the area disputed by India and Pakistan, including India-controlled Kashmir."
While the Chinese state media have carried a barrage of critical articles on the Doka La standoff criticising India, this was the first time Pakistan and Kashmir have been brought into the narrative.
"Indian troops invaded China's Doklam area in the name of helping Bhutan, but in fact the invasion was intended to help India by making use of Bhutan," the article said, referring to the 30 June statement issued by India's external affairs ministry.
China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Doka La area near the Bhutan tri-junction for the past three weeks after a Chinese Army's construction party attempted to build a road. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Doklam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.
Of the 3,488-kilometre-long India-China border from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, a 220-kilometre section falls in Sikkim.
With inputs from agencies

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