PM: Chinese incursion a localised problem, we have plan to resolve issue

Asserting that the government has a plan to resolve the "face-to-face" situation between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Saturday that the issue is a "localised problem" and talks are on to resolve it.

In his first reaction on the standoff that started on April 15 after Chinese troops set up a temporary camp 19 kms inside India's side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the PM took a cautionary line and said India does not want to escalate the issue.

"We do have a plan (to resolve the matter). We do not want to accentuate the situation," the PM said, in reply to a question on how the situation would be sorted out, adding that "we do believe that it is possible to resolve this problem".

Reiterating the stand of the Army and the Ministry of External Affairs that the current situation is a local issue and should not be seen as a larger problem, the PM said, "It is a localised problem. I think talks are going on." However, he did not elaborate on what measures are being taken to end the face-off.

The Defence Ministry has also instructed the Army to treat the situation in Depsang as a local issue, and has said the matter should not be escalated with additional deployments while diplomatic channels are being pursued to resolve the issue.

While a detachment of the Ladakh Scouts has set up camp near the Chinese tents that came up on April 15, there has been no escalatory move yet to outflank or "dominate" the Chinese soldiers. Military officials have described the behaviour of the Chinese troops as "not threatening or aggressive".

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