China says Indian drone ‘invaded’ its airspace and crashed

File: A Chinese soldier (L) next to an Indian soldier at the Nathu La border crossing between India and China in India's northeastern Sikkim state. China said, Indian drone had invaded its airspace before crashing, months after the two sides ended a tense border standoff. (AFP)
Updated 07 December 2017
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China says Indian drone ‘invaded’ its airspace and crashed

BEIJING: China lodged an official protest with India on Thursday after charging that an Indian drone had “invaded” its airspace before crashing, months after the two sides ended a tense border standoff.
Beijing said the incident occurred “recently” at the border separating India’s northeastern Sikkim state and China’s Tibet region, but it did not say exactly where and when.
India’s army said the unmanned aerial vehicle was on a “regular training mission” when ground control lost contact with it “due to some technical problem” and it crossed over the demarcation line.
The Chinese foreign ministry urged India to “stop the activities” of drones near the border after the UAV “invaded” its airspace.
“The action of the Indian side violated China’s territory and is not conducive to the peace and tranquility of the border area,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular news briefing.
“China is dissatisfied with this and lodged solemn representations with the Indian side,” he said, referring to the official diplomatic protest.
A Chinese army official said earlier that border troops “took a professional and responsible attitude” and carried out identification verification of the device.
“We will earnestly fulfil our mission of duty and firmly defend the sovereignty and security of our country,” the deputy director of the Chinese army’s western theater combat bureau, Zhang Shuili, said in a statement.
The Indian army said the country’s border security personnel “immediately alerted” their Chinese counterparts to locate the UAV.
“The exact cause of the incident is under investigation,” Indian army spokesman Col. Aman Anand said in a statement.
“The matter is being dealt with in accordance with the established protocols through institutional mechanisms to deal with situations along the India-China border areas.”
The drone incident follows a summer standoff in a Himalayan area where Tibet, Sikkim and Bhutan meet.
In August, the two nations pulled back their troops to resolve the tense deadlock over the area, which is claimed by both China and Bhutan, an ally of India.
The dispute began in mid-June after Chinese troops started building a road on the Doklam plateau, known as Donglang in Chinese.
India has an army base nearby and moved soldiers into the flashpoint zone to halt the work, prompting Beijing to accuse it of trespassing on Chinese soil.
After both sides withdrew, India’s army chief said in September that his country could not afford to be complacent and must be prepared for war.
“As far as our northern adversary is concerned, flexing of muscles has started,” General Bipin Rawat said at a think tank event in New Delhi, in reference to China.
“The salami slicing, taking over territory in a very gradual manner... testing our limits of threshold is something we have to be wary about and remain prepared for situations which could gradually emerge into conflict,” the army chief said.
Rawat said India also has concerns that its arch rival Pakistan — an ally of China — could take advantage of the tensions.
India and China went to war in 1962 over the state of Arunachal Pradesh.
The latest episode has fed into a broader competition for regional influence between the two Asian powers.
The two emerging economies both have large populations and a growing middle class.
China has invited India to join President Xi Jinping’s new “Silk Road” project to revive ancient trade routes from Asia to Europe and Africa.
But the proposed economic corridor has alarmed India, partly because one of the links cut through Pakistan-administered Kashmir, disputed territory that New Delhi claims is illegally occupied.


"We are happy to have our son back"

Updated 18 December 2018
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"We are happy to have our son back"

  • Parents of Indian national released from Peshawar jail rejoice
  • Detained for alleged espionage, Ansari had reportedly entered Pakistan from Kabul to meet a girl he had befriended online

NEW DELHI: After spending six years in a Pakistani jail on charges of alleged espionage, Indian national Hamid Ansari finally saw the light of day after being released by Islamabad on Tuesday.

In search of a better livelihood, Ansari had reportedly left his hometown of Mumbai in India to look for a job in Afghanistan.

In 2012, however, he allegedly entered Kohat, in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, to meet a girl he had befriended on social media.

Pakistan, however, said that Ansari, an engineer, was an Indian spy who had illegally entered the country while accusing him of being involved in anti-state crimes and forgery, prior to sentencing him to six years in jail.

Since 2015, Ansari had been lodged in a jail in Peshawar where he ended his prison term last week.

“We are happy that we'd be able to see our son again,” an emotional Nehal Ahmad Ansari, his father, told Arab News.

His mother, Fauzia Ansari, added that Ansari's release was "an end of a painful period in our life".

Speaking to reporters, she said: "It’s a new birth for Hamid. He will begin his new life. We will support him for his rehabilitation, good health and better future.”

Nehal, on his part, thanked the government of India and Pakistan "for every effort" made in helping repatriate his son.

Ansari's entire family, along with a large number of peace activists, were present at the Wagah border to receive him. 

Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs expressed “great relief, especially for the family members, that six years of incarceration of the Indian civilian in Pakistan jail is coming to an end.”

In a press statement released on Monday, Kumar asked “Pakistan to take action to also end the misery of other Indian nationals and fishermen whose nationality has been confirmed and who have completed their sentences, but continue to languish in Pakistan jails.”