File photo of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh meeting Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat.
File photo of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh meeting Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat. |IANS
National

CDS briefs Rajnath Singh on stand-off situation in Ladakh

By Sumit Kumar Singh/IANS

New Delhi, June 8, 2020

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs on Monday to review the stand-off situation at Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh.

Singh was also briefed about the deliberations that took place during the meeting of military commanders of both the countries on June 6.

"The meeting with Defence Minister was called for an assessment on the talks and future strategy as the army prepares for a long haul," a source said.

During the meeting, a plan was discussed to deal with issues that continue to be a cause of concern for India. The meeting went on for over an hour where General Bipin Rawat briefed Singh about the further course of action.

On Sunday, India's External Affairs Ministry stated that India and China have agreed to "peacefully resolve" the stand-off situation in Ladakh in accordance with various bilateral agreements. The ministry also stressed that military and diplomatic dialogue will continue to resolve the prevailing situation in Eastern Ladakh.

"The two sides will continue the military and diplomatic engagements to resolve the situation and to ensure peace and tranquility in the border areas," the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry issued a statement based on deliberations that happened during a meeting on Saturday between both countries' military delegates.

The ministry had said that a meeting was held between the Corps Commander based in Leh and the Chinese Commander on Saturday in the Chushul-Moldo region. The Indian military delegation was headed by the commander of Leh-based 14 Corp Lieutenant General Harinder Singh and the Chinese delegation was headed by Major General Liu Lin, Commander of South Xinjiang Military Region.

It took place in a cordial and positive atmosphere, the ministry said.

"Both sides agreed to peacefully resolve the situation in the border areas in accordance with various bilateral agreements and keeping in view the agreement between the leaders that peace and tranquility in the India-China border regions is essential for the overall development of bilateral relations," the ministry had said in a statement.

The ministry had further stressed that both the countries noted that this year marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

"Both the countries have agreed that an early resolution would contribute to the further development of the relationship," the ministry had said.

India and China are having dialogue to resolve the stand-off situation in Ladakh region, particularly at the north bank of Pangong Lake where the Chinese People's Liberation Army has attempted to change the status quo.

China has made attempts to change the status quo by putting up shelters and setting up a camp in areas that were under Indian control so far.

Before this dialogue, talks between major general-rank officers between the two countries took place on June 2 that remained "inconclusive".

A clash took place at Pangong Lake on May 5 when troops from both the armies were involved in the clashes leaving several from both sides wounded.

Sources further pointed out that the stand-off was not spontaneous reaction to India's road construction in Ladakh. Unusual activities were first noticed a few weeks before the clash in May.

The current stand-off in Ladakh is not the usual patrolling face-off but part of the new combative strategy that was rolled out by China after Doklam.

In 2017, there was a 73-day stand-off between India and China. The stand-off was at the India-China-Bhutan tri-junction Doklam. China's road construction in Bhutanese territory was seen as an attempt to change the status quo by India and finally the road work had to be stopped.

IANS

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