After frequent allegations of incursions in Ladakh area, Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops have been spotted at forward posts along the Line of Control (LoC) on the Pakistani side of Kashmir, ringing alarm bells in the security grid, Press Trust of India said on Sunday.
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It said the army had spotted the presence of senior PLA officials at the forward posts opposite Nowgam sector in North Kashmir after which some intercepts of Pakistani army officers suggested that the Chinese troops have come to create some infrastructure along the LoC, sources in the know of development told PTI. It said although the army had officially maintained complete silence on the issue it was constantly updating various intelligence agencies about the alleged presence of PLA troops along the LoC.
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The Chinese troops were first spotted in the later part of last year and ever since their presence was witnessed opposite Tangdhar sector as well, PTI said. In this area, Chinese government-owned China Gezhouba Group Company Limited has been building Neelum-Jhelum 970MW Hydel project, it said. The hydel project is being built in response to India’s Kishanganga power project being built in Bandipore of North Kashmir.
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The Indian project is designed to divert water from the Kishanganga River to a power plant in the Jhelum River basin and will have an installed capacity of 330MW, according to the report. Construction on the project began in 2007 and is expected to be completed this year. The intercepts also suggested that Chinese PLA would be digging some tunnels in Leepa Valley, located in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, to build an all-weather road which would serve as an alternate route to reach Karakoram Highway.
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PTI said the visit by PLA officials is seen by Indian experts as part of Beijing’s $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor under which Gwadar port is linked to Chinese Xinjiang province through Karakoram highway, an area India considers to be under illegal occupation of China.