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Mutual pullback of some troops from LAC on cards as Modi-Xi discuss Ladakh tensions at BRICS

New Delhi: India and China are looking to disengage and de-escalate the tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) which could entail mutually pulling back of certain number of troops and equipment, ThePrint has learnt.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg and highlighted India’s concerns on the unresolved issues along the LAC.

Pulling back certain troops and equipment as a confidence building measure is one of the options that is being discussed by the militaries of both sides.

Sources in the defence and security establishment told ThePrint that there could be some forward movement on the LAC front just before the G20 meet next month. Xi is scheduled to travel to India next month for the G-20 Summit (9-10 September).

As reported by ThePrint earlier, instructions have already been given to tactical commanders to come out with a ‘workable solution’ to de-escalate the tensions at the LAC.

In a press briefing, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said that the two leaders agreed to direct their relevant officials to “intensify” efforts at “expeditious disengagement and de-escalation”.

Following the first ever two-day Corps Commander level talks held 13-14 August, discussions were held at Major General rank and below starting last Friday during which the effort was on to thrash out a workable solution.

Despite disengagement from the Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso, Gogra (PP-17A) and Hot Springs (PP-15), the Indian and Chinese armies continue to maintain thousands of troops and equipment along the LAC.

During the Corps Commander-level talks, both sides had agreed to “resolve the remaining issues in an expeditious manner”.

Both sides had agreed to freeze additional build-up of troops and equipment along the LAC, ThePrint had reported.

The sources said that instructions from “top” is to move forward and ease the tensions. These measures could include pullback of a certain number of troops and equipment, joint verification/survey of positions held so that no new posts come up along the troubled areas, creation of new limits of patrolling and certain SOPs to be followed before launching any kind of patrolling.

(Edited by Tony Rai)

Also Read: 3 yrs after Galwan, IAF still in ‘operationally ready format’ in Ladakh with fighters, drones & missiles 


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