PLA must be evacuated from high ground in Galwan valley: Pawar
Mumbai, June 19: Diplomatic channels should be used to defuse the tension in eastern Ladakh but the Chinese troops must be "evacuated" from the high ground in the Galwan valley, NCP chief Sharad Pawar told Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.
The former defence minister, in a series of tweets, said he underlined the threat to Dubruk-DBO road due to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) occupying adjoining hills during the all-party meeting convened by Modi on the stand- off with China. It would be advisable to "strategize using diplomatic channels to defuse the tension and make China see reason", he said.
Pawar, who joined the meeting from Mumbai through video conference, warned that the Chinese army is occupying the high ground in the Galwan valley with a "specific objective of dominating the Dubruk-DBO roadon the Indian side".
Chinese troops can at any time decide to enforce closure of this road and India will have to pay a heavy military cost if that happened, the NCP chief said in the meeting. He told the PM that "compulsory measures" should be taken to "evacuate the PLA from Galwan valley".
In the last three decades, China has quietly strengthened its position along the 4,000 km Line of Actual Control, and focused on enlarging and strengthening its presence in the eastern Ladakh sector, Pawar said.
The road connecting Dubruk to DBO is entirely on the Indian side of the LAC, he said, adding that it is crucial for India as DBO is an advanced landing ground and provides an airfield for the Air Forceto quickly respond to any emergency, he said.
"During my tenure as defence minister, I had visited China and signed the peace and tranquility agreement in 1993 which was the first peace effort after the 1962 war. "Both countries have respected the terms of understanding, barring some minor incidents as compared to this incident," he said.
DBO is also important as it further links with the Karakorum passand on the left Siachen glacier, he said.