India pitches for early disengagement in remaining areas in Ladakh2 April 2021
New Delhi: India on Friday hoped that China will work with it to ensure disengagement of troops in remaining areas of eastern Ladakh at the earliest, and asserted that de-escalation of tension alone will lead to restoration of peace and tranquility in border areas and provide conditions for progress of bilateral ties. At a media briefing, Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi said the two sides continue to remain in touch through military and diplomatic channels on the issue. He also referred to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankars comments that a prolongation of the situation is in neither sides interest. We, therefore, hope that the Chinese side will work with us to ensure that disengagement in the remaining areas is completed at the earliest, he added. This, he said, would allow both sides to consider de-escalation of forces in eastern Ladakh as that alone will lead to the restoration of peace and tranquility and provide conditions for progress of the bilateral relationship. Bagchi also said that there was a consensus that the two sides should now quickly resolve the remaining issues in the region. The disengagement in Pangong Lake area was a significant step forward and it has provided a good basis for resolution of other remaining issues along the Line of Actual Control in western sector, he said. Bagchi said the two sides had detailed exchange of views on the remaining issues both at the senior commanders meeting and the discussions held under the framework of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on border affairs. Following the disengagement in the Pangong lake area, India and China held the 10th round of military talks, the WMCC meeting besides a telephonic conversation between the foreign ministers of the two countries. The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5 last year following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry. As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed withdrawal of troops and weapons from the North and South banks of Pangong lake in February in line with an agreement on disengagement. In the subsequent military talks on February 20, India insisted on resolution of outstanding issues including in Depsang, Hot Springs and Gogra. India has been insisting that peace and tranquility along the border is essential for overall ties between the two countries. Last week, Army Chief Gen MM Naravane said that the threat to India has only abated following the disengagement in Pangong lake areas but it has not gone away altogether.