Growing China-Pak defence ties matter of concern

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New Delhi: India on Friday said it views with "serious concern" the growing defence ties between China and Pakistan and that it will have to enhance its own capabilities to meet the challenge.

"It is a matter of serious concern for us. The main thing is, we have to increase our capability, that is the only answer," Defence Minister A K Antony told reporters here when asked to comment on the growing defence ties between China and Pakistan.

The comments come in the backdrop of reports that China would immediately be providing Pakistan with 50 new JF-17 Thunder multi-role jets under a co-production agreement.

Antony, who was speaking after addressing the Unified Commander`s Conference, also observed that the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan would have a fallout in the neighbourhood and "it can affect India also".

He said the safe havens for terrorists in Pakistan is "the main concerns for us" and Islamabad should "disband and destroy" all the terror outfits if it "sincerely" wants to improve relations with India.

When referred to statements by Army Chief Gen V K Singh and Air Chief P V Naik that India has capability of launching a surgical strike like the US carried out in Abbottabad, Antony refused to comment, saying "the Prime Minister has expressed his view. I don`t have anything to say."

The Prime Minister has made it clear that India would not undertake such a strike.

On the situation on the Line of Control (LoC), the Defence Minister said, "Compared to past, violence level has come down but infiltration attempts were noticed on few occasions. Ceasefire violations are there. But by and large situation has improved."

With regard to the status of C-17 heavy-lift aircraft deal with the United States, Antony said, "The matter is before the CCS and no deadline can be set to finalise it."

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