The possibility of resolving the ongoing Indo-China tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh through military talks is almost exhausted. The final result came during the ninth round of talks in January, when the two armies moved to their traditional bases on the northern and southern sides of Pangong Tso Lake, and for the time being the ‘No Patrolling Zone’. Was decided. After that, the talks of the tenth round in February and the eleventh round ended on April 11 were not only inconclusive, but after the eleventh round the two
Somebody may feel that if there is no benefit from the conversation, then there is no point in pulling it. Both sides can live in peace in their respective places even without this ritual. But to form such an opinion, it is necessary to be completely ignorant of the developments. The truth is that the Indian side is still at a huge disadvantage compared to the same date last year. Due to Chinese occupation, regular patrolling of Indian troops at eight places is either closed, or its scope has shrunk.
Let us begin with the plains of Depsang, exactly to the north. Daulat Beg Oldi is heartwarming for the Indian Army in eastern Ladakh, where India’s most bordering airstrip is present. To its east lies the Siachen Glacier, where it is tasked to provide aerial security to the deployed Indian troops and to monitor the movements of both China and Pakistan through air patrolling. The ground of Depsang is very close to it and the entry of Chinese forces here has reduced India’s five patrolling points (PP) 10, 11, 11A, 12 and 13. China has taken this step for the fortification of Siachen area.
To its south, the PP-14 belongs to the Galvan Valley, where military and diplomatic negotiations between the two countries began following a bloody clash on 15 June last year. To say that both the forces are far away and no patrolling zone has been made on either side of the river Galvan in the middle. But the damage has been done by the Indian Army here as well and due to the constant enemy’s eye, recently the military movement on the Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi Road, a very important border road made in the form of fast vehicles, has become difficult. Going further south, PP-15 means Gogra and PP17-A ie hot springs are also dominated by Chinese soldiers. Both of these patrolling points have been very important to attack the first Indo-China conflict point in Ladakh at Kongka Pass, but both of them are not in a position to move.
To its south also comes the position of Pangong Tso Lake, on whose northern side, Chinese soldiers entered eight kilometers and boarded the Finger Four. After the ninth round of talks between the two armies, they have moved to their traditional camp at Finger Eight while Indian soldiers have moved to their permanent hideout Dhan Singh Thapa post between Finger Two and Three. The entire area in the middle has been made a no-patrolling zone, but the reality is that till May 2020, Indian soldiers were patrolling until Finger Eight, which has been unceremoniously taken away from them. It is necessary to remember here that the only reason for China’s conciliatory stance on the northern side of Pangong was that in late August 3000 Indian troops occupied many of the hills of Chushul area on its southern side, from where the Moldo cantonment of China But it could be punished at any time. Peace on the border is necessary and the highlands of Ladakh become lifeless even in the winter without fighting, but leaving these hills in the chess of the border must surely have disturbed the troops.
The fact is that India did not leave its dominance in Chushul on the northern side of Pangong to rear China by Finger 8, in the hope that as the atmosphere improves, the Chinese forces leave their positions at the northern patrolling points and leave their permanent positions. But will return to the position before May 2020 on the LoC. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement in Parliament after the ninth round of military talks was awash in this spirit. But after that, the attitude of China changed completely and the statement issued by the Chinese military interlocutor said that ‘India should cherish the current positive situation of reducing tension in the border areas like a treasure’.
Language of threat
The hidden Turshi in this statement is well known. As much as India has the responsibility to take advantage of the positive situation, so is the responsibility of China. Should we say this unilaterally as a threat to China? India and China are two emerging world powers and important countries for each other. The Line of Actual Control is not a permanent border between the two countries, but it should not be taken so lightly that it can be encroached into several kilometers to form cantonments. There is no harm in China if the Chinese troops go back to their old condition without any bloodshed to improve the atmosphere and restore mutual trust. But now his attitude is telling that he is not interested in keeping relations with India right.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author’s own
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