Army Chief General Manoj Pande during an event of India Defence Conclave in Delhi on Tuesday said that maintaining a “higher level of operational preparedness at all time” and improving infrastructure, especially along the northern borders, were some of the key lessons from the India-China standoff at the border in eastern Ladakh, reported news agency PTI
While replying to a question on the next step after the recent disengagement of Indian and Chinese militaries from Patrolling Point 15 in the Gogra-Hotsprings, the Army chief said, “We have made progress in terms of disengagement from friction points. We still have two friction points where we need to move forward.”
“We are hopeful as we move forward, talking through both military and diplomatic levels. And, I am sure we will be able to find resolution towards these friction points. That is our immediate aim to disengage from these friction points, before we look at to next step, of perhaps, de-escalation, which will involve pull back of troops,” he added.
When asked about the situation in Kashmir valley after the abrogation of article 370 during the event, the army chief said, “Violence level has come down significantly. In the hinterland, protests or incidents of stone pelting have reduced.” as reported by PTI. He also pointed out that infiltration at Line of Control (LoC) has come down
India and China have been locked in standoff at the eastern Ladakh border since May 5, 2020, after a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas.
Indian and Chinese militaries on September 12 completed the troop disengagement at Patrolling Point-15 in the Gogra-Hot Springs area of eastern Ladakh and dismantled temporary infrastructure there.
According to PTI, the two sides disengaged as per the plan which also entailed a joint verification of the entire process.
The disengagement is likely to set the stage for further negotiations on resolving the more crucial face-offs at the strategically-located Depsang Plains and Demchok.