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SOURCE: PTI

Days after some Indian shepherds confronted Chinese soldiers near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said the two sides are aware of the traditional grazing areas and any incident of friction is dealt with under existing mechanisms.

The shepherds were reportedly stopped by Chinese soldiers in an area south of Chushul in eastern Ladakh last month. A councillor of Chushul shared the purported video of the incident, shot by locals, on social media.

“The two sides are aware of the traditional grazing areas in the border areas. Any incident of friction is dealt with traditional mechanisms as appropriate,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said at a media briefing when asked about the incident.

The Indian and Chinese troops are locked in an over three-year confrontation in certain friction points in eastern Ladakh even as the two sides completed disengagement from several areas following extensive diplomatic and military talks.

India has been maintaining that its ties with China cannot be normal unless there is peace in the border areas.

The eastern Ladakh border standoff erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake area.

To a separate question on India’s participation at a regional conclave organised by the Taliban set-up in Kabul recently, Jaiswal said it should be seen in the context of India’s long-standing friendship with the Afghan people.

“We have been attending several meetings on Afghanistan in various formats, both at the regional and international level,” he said.

“Recently, we also participated in a regional meeting in Kabul where our head of the technical team attended it. He apprised the meeting of India’s long-standing friendship with the Afghan people and the humanitarian assistance that we are carrying out in the country,” Jaiswal said.

“The particular meeting should be seen in that particular context,” he said.