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Media hype could create problems with China: NSA

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Seeking to downplay recent incursions by Chinese Army along the Line of Actual Control, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan Saturday cautioned that media "hype" could lead to "unwarranted incident or accident" that could create problems with the neighbour.

He acknowledged that incursions were taking place but said there was "hardly any increase" in these activities and situation was not "alarming."

The NSA disagreed that China was trying to put pressure saying "India of 2009 is not (India) of 1962" and said both nations are keen to maintain peace and tranquility at the border.

"In terms of number of incursions, there has been hardly any increase. Occasionally inroads are a little deeper than what it might have been in the past. I don't think so that there is anything alarming about it. I think we have a good understanding about the whole issue," Narayanan told Karan Thapar on his 'Devil's Advocate' programme on CNN-IBN.

"I really am unable to explain why there is being so much media hype on this question," he said.

Asked if over reaction by media could create problems, he replied in the affirmative and said, I have been through 1962. I was aware of the problem then.... What we need to be careful of is that we don't have an unwarranted incident or an accident of some kind.

"That's what we are trying to avoid. But there is always concern (that) if this thing (media hype) goes on like this someone somewhere might lose his cool and something might go wrong.
Narayanan said too much of reporting on this issue could lead to increase in tensions leading to situation "we wish to avoid".

"I think it is a national security issue. It is not a kind of game that we are playing. The more you raise people's sort of concern, I mean the tensions would rise and then we would be facing a situation of a kind that we would wish to avoid," the NSA said.

He replied in the negative when asked whether there was a sense of appeasement or hesitation or fear in India when dealing with China.

"I was there in 1962 and I should be more conscious than anyone else. We are careful and I think it is important and imperative we do not want to get into a situation that we don't want to be in," he said.

Narayanan, who is special representative from Indian side on border talks, said that after nine rounds of talks that he had with his Chinese counterpart Dai Bingguo "we are much more comfortable at this moment than let's say a year ago."

When asked about China not considering India as equals, the NSA said it wishes to be the numero uno in this part of the world.

"China certainly sees us as its rival and the issue is that they wish to be the numero uno in this part of the world," he said, adding, India is seen as a rising democratic power. "Therefore there is rivalry," he said.

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