Amid tensions at Ladakh, India bought high altitude warfare kits from US on ‘urgent basis’: Report


OCTOBER 19, 2020

As the tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at the eastern Ladakh ages for months with no sign of dissolution, the Indian side has bought high altitude warfare kits from the US on an urgent basis, reports suggest citing officials with the knowledge of the matter.

The step could be significant as the area of tension is very well known for its bone-chilling temperature and war at such place is dangerous.

The Indian Army used an agreement which allows the two militaries to take logistical assistance from each other such as buying fuel and spare parts for warships and aircraft, for the transaction, the officials said, asking not to be identified given rules for speaking to the media.

The famous Logistics Exchange Memorandum Agreement (LEMOA) signed in August 2016 aims to promote interoperability between the two militaries.

The tension at Ladakh which surfaced after the firing at the LAC after 45 years on June 15 has prompted both the sides to move thousands of troops, tanks and missiles to the Himalayan border, while fighter jets are on stand-by.

With the winter season coming close, the troops face off at 15,000 feet, with temperatures dropping to -30 Celsius (-22 Fahrenheit).

India in a sharp assertion said on Thursday that China has no locus standi to comment on its internal matters. The comments come as a reaction to Beijing’s remarks after the opening of 44 bridges in border areas on Monday.

“The Union Territories of Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir have been, are and will remain an integral part of India,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.

“Our position on Arunachal Pradesh has also been made clear several times. Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India. This fact has also been clearly conveyed to the Chinese side on several occasions, including at the highest level,” he added.

On Monday, reacting on the construction of 44 new bridges near the borders which were opened by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, China had said it “does not recognize the Ladakh Union Territory” and opposes infrastructure building by India in the region.

“First I want to make it clear that China does not recognise the Ladakh Union Territory illegally set up by the Indian side and the Arunachal Pradesh. We stand against the development of infrastructure facilities aimed at military contention along the border area,” said the Chinese spokesperson.

Zhao Lijian, spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, had also called border infrastructure development “the root cause for the tension between the two sides” and said neither side should take action that might escalate tension.

“Based on consensus, neither should take actions along the border that might escalate the situation that is to avoid undermining the efforts by the two sides to ease the situation.”

“We urge the Indian side to earnestly implement our consensus and refrain from actions that might escalate the situation and take concrete measures to safeguard peace and tranquility along the border,” said Zhao.

Courtesy/Source: The Statesman