Army to press for expeditious disengagement at military talks today

Army convoy making its way uphill towards Ladakh via Sonamarg in June. File Photo/ GK

The Indian Army is set to press for comprehensive disengagement of troops by the Chinese PLA from all the friction points in eastern Ladakh at the eighth round of Corps Commander-level talks on Friday, official sources said.

The talks are slated to begin at 9:30 am in Chushul on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, the sources said on Thursday.

Nearly 50,000 Indian Army troops are currently deployed in a high state of combat readiness in various mountainous locations in eastern Ladakh in sub-zero conditions as multiple rounds of talks between the two sides have not yielded concrete outcome to resolve the six-month-long military standoff.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has also deployed an equal number of troops, according to officials. The last round of Corps Commander-level talks had taken place on October 12 but there was no breakthrough on the disengagement of troops from the friction points. The standoff between the two sides erupted in early May.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar recently said the ties between India and China have come under “severe stress” and that the agreements inked by both sides on management of the border must be respected “scrupulously” in their “entirety” to restore normalcy in relations. The Indian delegation at the eighth round of military talks will be led by Lt Gen PGK Menon, the newly-appointed Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps. A joint press statement by the two armies after the last round of talks said both sides agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels.