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Pangong Tso ‘done’, India will raise Depsang at next meeting | India News

NEW DELHI: India to raise the issue of the Depsang area, strategically located in Ladakh, with China in the next round of corps commander-level talks, amid some concerns that it may have wasted its main bargaining influence by agreeing to vacate the heights of Kailash’s rank for just Pangong Tso’s disconnect pact.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday that India and China agreed to convene the next meeting of their senior commanders, within 48 hours of completing the disconnect in the Pangong Lake area, to “address and resolve all other remaining problems. ”

Although Singh did not specify any particular area, officials said that the Depsang Plains or Bulge area, as well as other hot spots such as Gogra-Hotsprings and Charding Ninglung Nallah (CNN), the road crossing in the Demchok sector will now be addressed with China in the subsequent rounds of military talks.

“The current disengagement pact was limited to the northern and southern shores of Pangong Tso. Depsang is an old issue… The Indian military has not had access to large portions of territory in Depsang for the past 10 to 15 years, ”said a senior official.

“The situation in Depsang became serious after the deep incursion of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in 2013. India’s response further hardened the PLA’s stance. But unlike Pangong Tso, Galwan and other sticking points last year, there was no major outbreak in Depsang. Therefore, it was decided that Depsang would be treated separately from last year’s flash points, “he added.
The fact, however, remains that the PLA since April-May last year has been actively blocking Indian soldiers from going to their traditional Patrol Points (PP) -10, 11, 12, 12A and 13 in Depsang, a mesa plateau located at an altitude of 16,000 feet.
Rival armies also deployed additional infantry brigades and tank regiments to the Depsang region, which provides India with access to the Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) airfield and the critical Karakoram pass in the north, after Tensions flared in eastern Ladakh last year.
“The PLA captures the movement of our patrols through sensors and other means to prevent them from going beyond the ‘Bottleneck’ or ‘Y-junction’ area in Depsang (about 18 km within what India perceived as their territory), “he said. a fountain.
Some in the security establishment argue that India should have linked the withdrawal of its troops from the tactically advantageous heights they occupied on the southern bank of the Pangong Tso-Kailash mountain range in the Chushul sector in late August to obtain concessions from China. in Depsang. where it claims up to 972 square kilometers of territory.
“There is a clear possibility that China will not move from its position in Depsang unless India has more cards to play. India’s vital northern subsector (SSN), which includes Depsang and the DBO airstrip, is quite close to China’s major western highway G-219, which connects Tibet with Xinjiang, ”said another official.
The importance of SSN, the easternmost corner of Ladakh, can also be measured by the fact that it separates the Chinese-occupied Aksai Chin in the east from the Siachen glacier in the west. “The Army has often played a war game with a westward push on the Depsang Plains by the PLA if full-blown hostilities break out,” he added.

Times of India