Report By: Nandika Chand
The world’s eyes are on India and China’s military officials who are set to meet tomorrow in an effort to resolve the latest standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Indian military experts hope New Delhi seeks clarity on sovereignty along the 3,488 km undemarcated border to prevent future standoffs with China.
To ease the current tensions between the two countries, Lieutenant General (Ret) DS Hooda said there should be a moratorium on patrolling in contested areas like in the past. He pointed out that this time around things are “complicated” as there was “no cause for Chinese violence”. “We were absolutely clear (then) of the red lines and demands of sides. One wanted to build, the other said no. Therefore, we knew the steps towards resolution,” said Hooda.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Leh-headquartered 14 Corps will lead the Indian delegation at talks to be held at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Chinese side. The delegation will also include officers of the rank of Major-General and Brigadier of that area and a translator. Sources said India and China have identified 23 “disputed and sensitive” areas along the LAC, but Galwan in Ladakh and Naku La in Sikkim are not on the list.
In the May-standoff, Chinese troops moved in large numbers into Indian territory in Pangong Tso, Galwan and Gogra in Ladakh and Naku La in Sikkim. India accused the Chinese troops of incursions into areas that were “never under dispute”. Sources said India will seek am immediate de-escalation at Pangong Tso. Both countries have unresolved claims here.