Not joining debate on AFSPA: Antony
‘CONCERNED OVER CHINESE PRESENCE IN PaK’
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Oct 12: The Defence Minister AK Antony Wednesday said he was not going to join any debate on the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir.
"I am not (in favour) of any public debate on this issue," Antony told reporters on the sidelines of Naval Commanders Conference here today.
Pertinently, according to reports, Defence Ministry has strong reservations over certain proposed amendments in AFSPA and has contended that if these come into effect, it would leave the army severely handicapped to operate in troubled areas like the northeast and Jammu and Kashmir.
The Defence Minister said India has conveyed its concern to China over the presence of Chinese personnel in Pakistan- administered Kashmir (PaK) and asserted that it was consistently strengthening its capabilities in the eastern sector to meet any challenge.
"We have conveyed our concerns to China, and at the same time we are consistently strengthening our capabilities in the eastern sector to meet any challenge," he said.
Replying to queries regarding Chinese presence in PaK, he said, "It is there for many years. We are in a phased-manner consistently strengthening our capabilities (in the eastern sector)."
On Chinese objection to Indian presence in South-China sea near Vietnam, Antony said, "We have delegation level talks going on (with Vietnam) now. When Prime Minister is discussing with the Vietnamese President, it is not correct on my part to comment on it."
He said India's interest lies only in uninterrupted passage of ships and trade.
"There is no question of India going there (in South-China sea) in large scale. We will go there for exercise and uninterrupted passage of ships and trade. There is no question of any naval presence there. That is not our intention, our main concern is to protect our core area of interest," he said.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 11 Oct 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 11 Oct 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 12 Oct 2011 00:00:00 IST
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