Indo-China border incursion row ends; armies withdrawn from Daulat Beg Oldi sector
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: While ending a deadlock between Indo-China border incursion row, Chinese and Indian armies on Sunday agreed to withdraw their troops simultaneously from face-off point at Daulat Beg Oldi sector in Ladakh, as per official sources.
Reports suggest that the agreement between the countries was reached after tough negotiations at the higher level from both sides.
However, the official sources have also confirmed that an agreement was reached late today for both sides to pull back their troops simultaneously from the face off point, which was completed at 1930 hours.
Indian and Chinese commanders at the local level shook hands before withdrawing, the sources said.
However, it was not clear whether the Chinese would withdraw all the way back across the LAC to the position that obtained on April 15 as was demanded by India which pressed for restoration of status quo ante.
Meanwhile, MEA sources said that over the last few days there have been intensified diplomatic consultations between India and China.
The consultations were being held at various levels including through missions in Beijing apart from the Foreign Secretary being in direct touch with concerned officials, sources said.
The consultations were followed by flag meetings between army officials of the two countries.
A formal statement on the issue is expected tomorrow.
The political leadership has already been briefed by senior government officials.
The face off in Ladakh had cast a shadow over the visit of External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to China on May 09 to prepare the ground for the new Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang's visit to India from May 20.
Khurshid had told reporters on his way to Iran on May 03 that the progress in dialogue to end the stand off in Ladakh was not satisfactory.
India would have liked a "much better response" from China, he had said and emphasised that it wanted reversal of the "adverse incident" in Ladakh and return to the status quo in Depsang Valley where the Chinese troops have intruded.
Earlier, senior military personnel of the two countries led by Brigadier-level officers had held a fourth flag meeting at Chushul yesterday but their discussions lasting 45-minute ended without any positive outcome with the Chinese refusing to restore status-quo ante as it obtained on April 15 before they intruded 19 kms deep on the Indian side of Line of Actual Control (LAC) pitching five tents and bringing in some 50 soldiers besides military vehicles and dogs.
Official sources had informed that the Chinese side had asked the Indian troops, which has also established tented posts about 300 metres from the Chinese, to pull back first before they could think of going back. The Indians said that any pull back had to be simultaneous and that the Chinese should vacate their intrusion.
The sources had also said that in view of this impasse there was no breakthrough in the meeting but the two sides decided to continue the dialogue.
The Chinese side had also reiterated their earlier stand that India should dismantle bunkers constructed along the LAC in Phuktsay and Chumar areas to which the Indian side contended that similar activities were being carried out on the Chinese side.
On April 15, Chinese troops had intruded nearly 27 kms deep into the Indian territory but an early detection and aggressive patrolling by the security personnel posted in the sector managed to pull them back to the present position near the old patrol base in the DBO sector, which is still 19 kms from the LAC.
With PTI inputs