Ladakh standoff: In a first, China ministry official to attend 7th round of military talks with India
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Top Indian and Chinese military representatives will hold seventh round of deliberations on Monday to work out steps to reach a truce in view of unprecedented tension at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh between the two countries. According to reports, the Corps Commanders meet could also see diplomatic representation from Beijing for the first time.
The possible inclusion of senior foreign ministry official will come after India included a senior diplomat, joint secretary (East Asia) Naveen Srivastava, during the sixth round of talks on September 21 as military talks were not making any headway, Times of India reported
From the Indian side, Lt Gen Harinder Singh, who is ending his tenure as 14 Corps commander, and his successor, Lt Gen P.G.K. Menon, would lead the discussions. Joint Secretary from the Ministry of External Affairs, Navin Srivastava will also attend. There was no escalation last month but also no easing of tensions, sources said.
Temperatures at critical mountain peaks and passes along the disputed India-China border have dropped to minus 20 degrees Celsius, throwing up a fresh challenge to the thousands of troops amassed by both sides in the region.
On August 30, India had occupied critical mountain heights like Rechin La, Rezang La, Mukpari, and Tabletop, that were all unmanned till now, on the southern bank of the Pangong Lake. India has also made some deployments near Blacktop also. The movement was carried out after the Chinese tried to make a provocative military move.
Now, dominance at these 13 peaks allows India to dominate the Spangur Gap under Chinese control and also the Moldo garrison on the Chinese side.
During the previous Corps Commander level talks, China insisted that India vacate these strategic heights. It told India that it will not discuss disengagement in eastern Ladakh, where the build-up by both sides has triggered a war-like situation over the last four months, till the time India vacates these strategic positions.
Senior Indian and Chinese commanders had held the 6th round of Military Commander-Level Meeting on September 21.
China's PLA is adamant that the situation on the southern bank where the Indian troops are in position of strength tactically be resolved first but India strongly wants a roadmap for de-escalation all across Ladakh to be drawn up. India and China are engaged in a six-month-long standoff at the LAC. Despite several levels of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough and the deadlock continues.
(with IANS inputs)
Posted By: Rakesh Kumar Jha