India has conveyed to China that it was concerned about Chinese presence in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Indian ambassador S Jaishankar, who met a Chinese vice minister for foreign affairs Zhang Zhijun on Friday, also expressed New Delhi’s unhappiness over the Chinese foreign ministry describing Jammu & Kashmir as India-controlled Kashmir. Zhang confirmed Chinese presence in the Gilgit-Baltistan area of PoK but assured India that they are meant for flood relief and humanitarian purposes only, embassy sources said. The issue became controversial after the New York Times recently reported that 11,000 Chinese troops have been deployed in the PoK area. Sources said New Delhi considered the meeting with the Chinese minister to be a useful one because Beijing had refused to acknowledge the presence of its troops in the PoK over the past few days. But there was no sign that India was satisfied with Beijing’s responses to its concerns.
India has also expressed its worries about the characterisation of the disputed PoK as northern part of Pakistan, which amounts to Beijing recognizing it as part of Pakistani territory. India claims that PoK is part of its territory, which is being illegally held by Islamabad. The Chinese minister said the Kashmir problem was something that is leftover from history, and Beijing wanted India and Pakistan to amicably resolve the issue through mutual discussion.