Army claims border situation cooling, military officers meet again on Wednesday - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Stuff.

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Friday, 12 June 2020

Army claims border situation cooling, military officers meet again on Wednesday



By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 10th June 20

Top army sources say that, based on a decision taken at the meeting between Indian and Chinese generals in Ladakh on Saturday, lower-ranked officers from both sides will meet over the coming ten days to discuss conflicts in their respective areas of responsibility.

The sources say that, in this series of “higher military commander level” (HMCL) meetings, the first will be held on Wednesday at Patrolling Point 14 (PP14), near the Pangong Tso Lake.

The sources also claim that both sides have “retreated a bit” after the Saturday meeting. However, sources on the ground say that soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continue holding their positions in the Galwan River Valley and the Pangong Tso areas.

Describing the meeting between Indian and Chinese corps commanders on Saturday, the army sources say they met one-to-one for almost three hours before engaging further at delegate-level talks.

The sources say the two sides “mutually agreed and identified five locations of conflicts” between PLA and Indian troops. These conflict locations are PP14, PP15, PP17, the north bank of Pangong Tso Lake and Chushul.

Significantly, the army is silent on the Galwan River valley, where the PLA occupies heights that overlook the strategic Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi (DSDBO) road. It is understood that this is because the Chinese side had refused to discuss the Galwan sector at the corps commanders’ meeting.

Countering criticism that the PLA intrusions took the army by surprise, the sources claimed “there has not been any intelligence failure” and that the “Indian Army has stopped the PLA quickly and strongly.” They claimed the army “has matched [the PLA] in terms of men and machinery at every location.”

“The Indian side has conveyed that construction will not stop, including on the DSDBO road, as it is well within the Indian boundary,” they said.

Denying that any heads would roll, the sources expressed full satisfaction with the way the Leh corps commander and the northern army commander had handled the intrusions.

In a statement of resolve, they said the army “is fully prepared for a long and permanent deployment if the PLA does not retreat.”

Portraying a coherent Indian military-political response, the sources stated: “All three services, the chief of defence staff, the national security advisor, the defence minister and the ministry of external affairs are coordinating well amongst themselves.”

On the broader military-political perspective, the sources said: “The core issue is the undecided LAC. Until that is solved, these episodes and issues will continue to happen.”

The sources criticised the PLA’s militarization of the border areas. “China has deployed fighter bombers, rocket forces, air defence radars, jammers, etcetera. India has also deployed all its major assets along the LAC… just a few kilometres away from the frontline. India will continue to have major build up until China withdraws the build up [it has] done there,” said the sources.

The sources indicated that it was proposed during the corps commanders’ meeting on Saturday that such meetings should be held “once or twice every year for better interaction between the two armies at a higher level.”

2 comments:

  1. Looks like the Indian army brass and the political masters are trying to make things look better than they are. What is the use of being “... fully prepared for a long and permanent deployment if the PLA does not retreat” if you are not going to take back the territory you have lost to the PLA. How nice that the “All three services, the chief of defence staff, the national security advisor, the defence minister and the ministry of external affairs are coordinating well amongst themselves” ... as if that is going to get the PLA out. Looks like we were caught with our pants down and we have little more than a hope and prayer that the PLA will just walk out of their own sweet will.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hats of to you sir...your assessment came out to be so true....we lost so many good men....

    ReplyDelete

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