The withdrawal of troops from Gogra and Hot Spring (Patrol Point-15) areas of eastern Ladakh from the day before yesterday will end on September 12. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed yesterday that both camps will demolish the temporary infrastructure built by the two sides in the area in addition to reducing the number of troops. According to army sources, Army chief Manoj Pandey will go to Ladakh on Saturday.
News from the past
Two years ago on June 15, a bloody encounter took place between the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at Patrolling Point 14 in the Galwan Valley of eastern Ladakh. Allegedly, the Chinese army occupied several areas of India. Later, talks started between the two countries at the military and diplomatic levels to reduce border tensions. Based on the discussion, the two countries brought the troops back (disengagement) and reduced the number of troops (de-escalation) from several areas.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will be present on the same stage at the SCO Summit in Uzbekistan next week. Just before the conference, both countries started moving troops to the border from the day before yesterday. Yesterday, in response to a question regarding this, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Arindam Bagchi, said, “Based on the discussion that was held at Chushul on the India-China border on July 16, both the countries started withdrawing the army. According to the agreement of the two sides, the withdrawal of the army started step by step from 8:30 a.m. the day before yesterday. Which will continue till the twelfth of September.”
Apart from the evacuation of the army, the temporary infrastructure like the construction of army camps and bunkers built by both sides in the area due to the fear of conflict will also be demolished. The topography of the area will be brought back to the state it was in before the dispute between the two parties. Bagchi said that both countries have agreed to abide by the control line in that area. The status quo of the area will be maintained.
Although both sides have agreed to move troops based on coordination in the Gogra-Hot spring (Patrolling Point-15) area, the Chinese forces are still entrenched about one and a half kilometers across the Line of Control in the Depsang Valley near the Daulat Beg Oldi Air Force Base in northern Ladakh. Due to the presence of Chinese forces near the Y junction, Indian forces have stopped going to patrolling point 10 and patrolling point 13.
Regarding the disputed areas, the Ministry of External Affairs said that the two sides have agreed to maintain peace along the Line of Control based on mutual consent in the coming days as well as take forward the talks. The positive move, such as the withdrawal of troops from both countries, is believed to have fueled speculation of a side meeting between Modi and Xi at the SCO summit in Uzbekistan next week.