Indo-China standoff: Why phase-II of deescalation will be a tricky affair
New Delhi, July 15: While phase one of the de-escalation took place smoothly, phase-II is expected to be a tough affair.
Sources familiar with the developments tell OneIndia that the first phase was relatively smoother as the Line of Actual Control is less contested in the Hot Springs, Galwan Valley and Gogra. It may be recalled that the two armies pulled back by around 2.5 kilometres each and created buffer and no patrolling zones.
However the Depsang Plains and Pangong Tso is hotly disputed both by India and China.
During the meeting, India has asked for restoration of status quo and also a time bound reduction of troops amassed. Both sides need to move the additional forces to their permanent locations, it was discussed.
The marathon meeting between the military commanders lasted for 14 hours and got over only at 2 am on Wednesday.
The meeting began at 11.30 am on Tuesday and went on for almost 14.5 hours. During the meeting both sides discussed de-escalation at Pangong Tso. The two sides extensively discussed vacating the Finger Complex on the northern side of Pangong lake.
The commanders also discussed additional reduction of troops from the Depsang Bulge, which is north of Galwan Valley. The Indian side insisted that the status quo be restored and the Chinese move back to their side of the Line of Actual Control. India also said that the traditional patrolling routes of the Indian Army should not be blocked.
Further the Indian side also insisted on complete restoration of status quo ante in all areas of eastern Ladakh prior to May 5. Sources tell OneIndia that more such meetings are on the anvil. The future meetings would discuss the road map for the overall restoration process. Both sides would also discuss restoring tranquillity in the region, which has been witnessing tensions off late.
The meeting took place in the backdrop of the first phase of disengagement at Galwan, Gogra and Hot Springs. Both sides have also created buffer zones that would not be patrolled by either armies for sometime.