Tribune News Service
New Delhi, March 30
The Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on India-China border affairs has decided to conduct the next round of military commander talks, the dates for which are yet to be worked out.
The talks will be held at the designated meeting point along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. Sources said there could be a “positive outcome”. The commanders of the two sides had last met on February 20 after completing the first phase of the pullback from the LAC.
In the first phase, there was visible disengagement of Indian and Chinese troops along the banks of Pangong Tso, a 135-km glacial lake.
The next two steps — de-escalation and de-induction, which means pulling back troops and war equipment to the pre-April 2020 home bases — have not yet begun.
The WMCC comprises representatives of foreign ministries and militaries of both sides. It had last met on March 12 and decided to reach a mutually acceptable solution for complete disengagement at the earliest.
The need to go to the WMCC arose as the military commanders could not arrive at a timeline of the phased de-escalation and de-induction.
The first phase of the disengagement process commenced on February 10, as both sides started withdrawal from the banks of Pangong Tso. It is stalled at the next phase of de-escalation and de-induction.
Still at striking range
- The present positions of troops are not face-to-face, but are within the striking range from where rapid redeployment is possible
- The military is cautious as snowmelt will open up several mountain passes by April-end
- The matters of disengagement at Depsang, Gogra or Hot Springs are slated to come up in the upcoming talks
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