India gets China to withdraw: Soldiers disengage from Gogra in Ladakh after talks

India gets China to withdraw: Soldiers disengage from Gogra in Ladakh after talks

[Music] hi you’re watching hindustan times i’m aditi prasad and with me is hindustan times defense editor rahul singh welcome to the show rahul one more sensitive friction point uh has been resolved between india and china along the line of control uh the indian army has just announced a short while ago that uh the indian and chinese troops have agreed to disengage at the gogra friction point and seized any forward deployment in that area now this means that all temporary structures uh by you know created by both sides along the lac have been dismantled landforms have been restored to the pre-standoff uh period of what was there before the standoff started which is almost 15 months ago rahul uh one more sensitive area resolved with this uh your views please hi adity good evening um this is certainly a very significant development and it comes just after the 12th round of talks between the two armies there were a lot of expectations that uh gobra was likely to be resolved after these talks uh that has taken place now a disengagement took place on august 4 and august 5 has been verified by both sides like you said troops have moved back to their permanent basis and whatever structures were erected by both sides after the standoff began uh in may 2020 have been dismantled and this is the second point at which along the contested lac where disengagement has taken place it earlier took place at pangangxo after the ninth round of talks uh in mid-february so this is certainly a very positive development as far as the border issue is concerned you mentioned pregnancy uh rahul and therefore i i have to ask this you know that disengagement happened almost six months ago but you don’t see a reduction in troops uh along the line of actual control both from the indian side as well as from the chinese side how do how do you make sense of that what what’s what’s happening there well that’s a very valid question aditi because even after the disengagement took place at pangang show and it’s been six months yet both armies have around 50 to 60 000 soldiers deployed in their immediate uh depth areas by immediate depth uh in military balance in this sector is about 150 to 200 kilometers on either side so um that uh those troops remain deployed there uh so there’s an angle of uh you know mutual suspicion after what happened in uh galwan last year you’re aware of that brawl in which uh 20 indian soldiers were killed pla troops are also killed in that skirmish if for some reason things go bad uh they want to ensure that they’re able to scramble troops very quickly to uh the disputed sites which is why they are keeping this presence which you mentioned which is about 50 to 60 000 troops on both sides and also includes advanced weaponry uh includes tanks includes infantry combat vehicles what do you think could be the reason uh from the chinese side for agreeing to this disengagement at gogura see uh uh please remember that uh the 12th round of talks uh took place after uh a meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries in dushanbe i think this was on the july 14th and before that uh the diplomatic level talks took place in june uh i think june 25th so a lot of groundwork had been done and by no means aditi this is a swift disengagement this is happening like we talked after six months of pangang so so a lot of a lot of work has been done behind the scenes and both countries are eager to kind of resolve this problem because you know when we talk about flash points what are flash points flash points are where soldiers are deployed eyeball to eyeball and in that kind of deployment there is a possibility of things going sar turning bad very quickly you know any minor issue can lead to any provocation can lead to things uh getting out of hand so in that sense it’s a very positive development and uh also if you remember the chinese side was very keen uh when when the disengagement process began that uh it should uh kick off at pengangso where uh we had occupied some strategic heights on the south bank and the kailash range and i think that that led to building of some sort of trust i mean while the overall uh overall suspicions remain but it uh kind of uh you know led to this understanding that we are capable of hammering out a disengaged disengagement agreement and sticking to it like we are sticking to it both sides are sticking to it in the pengangsou sector and also um you know when you talk about negotiations both sides both sides must feel that they have they have benefited from that degree that arrangement so i guess both sides now feel uh we’re confident enough that the current uh disengagement in in gogura will be good for both sides and it will also you know eliminate the chance of any contact between the troops which could lead to an ugly situation the chinese troops you know the tiredness of the chinese troops possible uh because they’re not used to staying up at that height do you think that could also be playing a role as far as china’s decisions are concerned no certainly i mean that’s that’s something which cannot be ignored because uh you know the indian army is uh you know has been holding heights on the siachen glacier in other parts of uh lavak in the northeast uh in the central sector so we are kind of used to um our troops are quite comfortable at those heights but uh for china this was this was a new thing and uh so that could have also been a reason for for uh for a rethink on uh you know their future costs uh but but if you look at the big picture uh this comes six months after pangang so this comes after a lot of talks at the government level at the diplomatic level so uh good sense has uh dawned in um and uh it’s nice that both sides have uh decided to pull back from uh have actually pulled back from gogra and this also has kind of ignited hopes for uh disengagement at other flash points along the border let’s talk about the other flash points when the talks started uh pengangsu was looked like the most difficult area you know the chinese had really come up to our side on the on the north bank in the finger area and as a as a counter measure in august last year we occupied heights in on the south bank but that was after that was worked out gogra and hot springs were seen as low hanging fruits and you know almost all of us uh covering the subject and uh you know in our interactions with the uh the army leadership uh got a sense that uh go grand hot springs would happen very quickly i mean you know it’s taken six months the expectations were they should have happened like really quickly but um the army chief you know in an interaction with hindustan times he told us that uh you know it’s unrealistic to expect positive outcomes after every round of uh uh talks because uh gangster disengagement also happened after nine rounds of talks and and gogura has happened after three more rounds which is 12 rounds but certainly it has it has uh you know raised hopes for uh early resolution of uh you know early resolution at uh of outstanding problems at hot springs which is also known as patrol point 15 and is close to gogra now now now the tough aspect the tough bit will be dip sang but let’s be clear about it dip sang the problems in this dip sang are not uh did not start with the current uh standoff which began in may uh 2020. the problems that dip sang predate uh that predate the current standoff by several years this is something we’ve been having problems over there since 2013-14 so the big test for both sides will be how uh you know how quickly and how effectively they can work out a solution at dip sang it’s not just disengagement is not the end result the outcome which both sides would be looking at is a total de-escalation of the conflict so after this this disengagement is completed at all friction points then we look at the induction of uh soldiers and equipment you know which means they’re going back to the barracks where they were before this uh whole thing flared up and only when that happens there will be an overall de-escalation of the conflict so we are still very much in the first first phase of the process but the outcomes are looking positive as of now you
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India gets China to withdraw: Soldiers disengage from Gogra in Ladakh after talks

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