The way ahead to resolve the situation at the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh is to not unilaterally change the situation on the ground while talks on disengagement are on, the foreign ministry said today, days after the sixth round of discussions between senior commanders of both nations.
The repeated emphasis on stability on ground came after the Chinese provocation of August 31, which took place as ground commanders of the two sides were engaged in discussions to de-escalate the situation.
Without referring to the incident, the ministry, in response to reporters’ queries, today said, “The way ahead will be to refrain from making any attempts to unilaterally change the status quo, while the two sides continue their discussions to achieve complete disengagement in all friction areas and to ensure full restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas”.
Underscoring India’s push for the restoration of status quo ante, the ministry said disengagement is a complex process that requires “redeployment of troops by each side towards their regular posts on their respective sides of the Line of Actual Control,” and reciprocal action.
The reference to troops needing to “refrain from unilaterally changing the situation in the ground and avoid taking actions that may complicate the situation” was also there in the joint statement issued after Monday’s talks between the commanders.
The Chinese had engaged in repeated provocations last month in the middle of the disengagement process, which started after talks between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart in July.
Last week, in what was seen as a strong warning to China, defence minister Rajnath Singh said India is “very serious about issues of sovereignty” and is prepared for “all outcomes” to ensure that it is maintained.
China had started a series of transgressions in April and May, which led to a fatal face-off between the troops of the two nations on June 15. Twenty Indian soldiers had died in action in Galwan Valley, marking a first in nearly 45 years.
Six rounds of talks have taken place between the militaries of the two nations to resolve the situation. The next meeting is likely to take place soon, the ministry said.