India builds emergency airstrip in Kashmir amid Ladakh border tension with China

The fragile peace along the de facto border in Kashmir is crumbling. Photo by the AFP. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NEW DELHI, Jun 4, 2020, India Today. In the midst of tension between India and China along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is constructing an emergency landing strip in south Kashmir on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, India Today reported.

The work has started next to the newly constructed national highway between Srinagar and Jammu near south Kashmir’s Bijbehara. The total length of the airstrip will be 3.5 km and will be used for an emergency landing.

Officials, however, have denied any link to Indo-China border tensions with the construction of the airstrip in south Kashmir. Officials told India Today TV that the airstrip was already in the pipeline.

Indian and Chinese troops have been engaged in a bitter standoff in several areas along the Line of Actual Control in mountainous eastern Ladakh for close to a month. Both the countries are holding talks at military and diplomatic levels to resolve the dispute.

Troops of India and China have been engaged in a major standoff for over three weeks in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie in eastern Ladakh, in what is turning out to be the biggest confrontation between the armies of the two countries after the Doklam episode in 2017.

The general officer commanding of Leh-based 14 Corps is expected to hold talks with his Chinese counterpart on June 6 to ease tensions. Several rounds of negotiations between local commanders as well as between major general-rank officials of the two armies have not yet produced any positive result.

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