ISLAMABAD : Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that the Indian government’s “hindutva mentality” is responsible for clashes between Indian soldiers and Chinese troops in Ladakh. “The hindutva mentality of the BJP’s government is responsible for this situation,” Pakistan’s foreign minister told a private television channel Wednesday. At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash with the Chinese military in Ladakh on Monday evening, the Indian has confirmed. The Monday’s fight between the militaries of the two countries is the first fatal clash since 1975. The two countries fought a border in 1962. The Chinese military has also confirmed the casualties in the clashes but didn’t release the exact figures. Qureshi believes that China wanted to resolve the dispute with India through talks but India’s “stubbornness” led the situation to the clashes. “If it [India] builds roads and airfields in the disputed territory and cross its limits then China will have an objection,” said the foreign minister. “If they take a unilateral action then a conflict will rise on the Line of Actual Control and another conflict will rise on Line of Control as well.” In a statement, a spokesperson for the Chinese military had claimed that the Indian soldiers had crossed the line of actual control between the two countries and launched “provocative attacks” that led to clashes between the soldiers of two armies. “India should stop all provocative actions, meet the Chinese side halfway and come back to the right path of solving disputes through talks,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying. The Indian Army, on the other hand, said that the recent clashes were a “result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo”. The recent clashes between the two countries started a few months ago after India announced that it would be constructing 66 roads along the Chinese border by 2022. India had planned to construct one road near the Galwan valley which China claims is part of their country. Skirmishes between Pakistani and Indian forces along the heavily militarized Line of Control have also increased since New Delhi unilaterally ended the autonomous status of the India-occupied Kashmir in August 2019. The two countries have already fought two wars over the disputed valley. In the recent months, several soldiers and civilians have been killed in border clashes between Pakistan and India.
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