File image of Indian soldiers in Ladakh | By special arrangement
File image of Indian soldiers in Ladakh | Representational image | By special arrangement
Text Size:

New Delhi: India and China have agreed to discuss “complete disengagement” along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh, the Army said Thursday. 

This comes after the fourth round of talks between the corps commanders of India and China Tuesday, which went on for 15 hours at Chushul.

Multiple meetings were held Wednesday to discuss the outcome of the talks, including by the government’s high-powered China Study Group (CSG) — a panel comprising top civil servants, armed forces and intelligence personnel — that serves as policy adviser to the executive on China. 

The meeting was attended by Army Chief General M.M. Naravane and 14 Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Harinder Singh, who has been representing India at all the Corps Commander-level meetings held with South Xinjiang Military District, Major General Lin Liu since 6 June.


Also read: Army plans to buy 350 helicopters over 10 years to modernise its Aviation Corps


‘Intricate, require constant verification’

The Army said in the statement: “The engagement was consistent with the consensus reached between the Special Representatives of India and China earlier, on 5 July, to discuss complete disengagement.”

It added, “The Senior Commanders reviewed the  progress on implementation of the first phase of disengagement and discussed further steps to ensure complete disengagement.”

We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.

Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

While the Army said the two sides remain committed to the objective of complete disengagement, it added the process would be “intricate and would require constant verification”. 

India and China have been engaged in discussions since June through established military and diplomatic channels to address the prevailing situation along the LAC.

The two sides are taking it forward through regular meetings at diplomatic and military levels, the Army said. 

According to sources, a review of the ongoing pulling back of troops at Galwan Valley, Hot Springs area and Gogra Post was carried out and the further disengagement at Finger 4 of Pangong Tso was discussed Tuesday.

Pullback of troops have taken place

As reported by ThePrint Wednesday, the disengagement process has been slow and is likely to last several months through the winter. 

“For Finger 4 to 8, the claim lines are being discussed further and the future discussions, as decided in the last corps commanders talks, would be on them,” a defence source told ThePrint.  

“The current deployment will be withdrawn in a phased manner, and timelines and modalities for various patrol points, such as PP-14, are being worked out,” the source added.

That is because, the source said, while there has been a pullback of troops from most areas, they are yet to return to pre-April positions. 

For instance, Indian troops are still not going to certain patrol points as they used to go earlier.

Sources had earlier said while the Chinese troops have retreated from Indian side of the LAC at various locations, the Chinese build-up remains, which is much ahead of their peacetime locations pre-April. 

However, there has not been a tangible pullback from Finger 4 at Pangong Tso and Depsang Plains, they said.

Instructions have been given to the troops to avoid any engagement, and ensure adequate distancing between troops on ground and in the lake.

Another source said certain ad hoc or temporary patrol points are being worked out so the troops do not go beyond them.

“Once identified on ground, it will ensure that there is no physical clash of troops,” the source said.

The key takeaways, sources said, were that both countries want resolution in a peaceful manner and want to avoid clashes, which may escalate the situation. 


Also read: No additional troops or new tents — what India, China discussed at corps commanders’ meet


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.

Support Our Journalism

Share Your Views

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here