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August 5, 2021
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Situation in Ladakh most serious since 1962: Jaishankar

S Jaishankar

Tension continues between India and China in East Ladakh. Following the violent clashes in the Galvan Valley, both countries are taking an aggressive stand on the border. India has recently deployed personnel along with the deadly Igla missile along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister S.K. Jaishankar has stated the situation in Ladakh. He described the situation in Ladakh as the most serious since 1962.

“This is surely the most serious situation after 1962. In fact, after 45 years, we have had military casualties on this border. The quantum of forces currently deployed by both sides at the LAC is also unprecedented,” Mr Jaishankar said in an interview ahead of his book launch ‘The India Way: Strategies for an Underserved World.’

The foreign minister also emphasized resolving the issues through diplomacy as he said, “If you look back over the last decade, there have been a number of border situations — Depsang, Chumar and Doklam. In a sense, each one was different. This one surely is. But what is also common is that all border situations were resolved through diplomacy.”

He also highlighted that India has clearly conveyed to Chin that peace and tranquillity in the border areas are the basis for the relationship between the two neighbours. The foreign minister also pointed out that in the past such issues with China have been resolved through diplomacy.

He said, “If you look back over the last decade, there have been a number of border situations — Depsang, Chumar and Doklam. In a sense, each one was different. This one surely is. But what is also common is that all border situations were resolved through diplomacy.”

LAC has a large number of troops deployed on both sides, which is unprecedented. Foreign Minister S Jaishankar has said that India is insisting that a solution to the border deadlock with China should be found in accordance with the current agreements and protocols for border management between the two countries.

On the same incident, Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong said Wednesday on the incident of a violent skirmish between the soldiers of India and China in the Galvan Valley that “an unfortunate incident had taken place which both India and China will not like to see. Now we are working to handle it properly.”

It is to be noted that five rounds of talks so far between Indian Army and PLA commanders have failed to resolve the crisis that started early May and while the Foreign Minister insists on finding a solution through diplomacy, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat had said recently that India has “military options” to deal with China. However, Rawat has also mentioned that the Military option will be exercised only if the military and the diplomatic level negotiations fail.

Meanwhile, it has also been reported that Indian forces are fully ready to give a befitting reply to China and amid growing tensions between the two countries Indian forces have deployed troops armed with shoulder-to-air air defence missiles at significant heights near the China border in eastern Ladakh. Recently, there have been reports of activities of Chinese helicopters near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, in which India has taken this step.

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