Former National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) chairman and former foreign secretary Shyam Saran has said that agreeing to rear troops in a “phased manner” rather than a package deal to completely withdraw troops along the Line of Actual Control The decision may become a cause for concern in the future.
Shyam Saran says that creating a buffer zone or “no man’s land” in the northern Pangong Tso’s finger area, whether temporary, would mean that the troops would not be able to return to the status quo before April 2020. He said that the future will depend on how smoothly the rest of the disengagement process started last week.
According to the Hindu Shyam Saran “First we got the impression that the Indian side is doing this engagement not sector by sector but on the entire LAC, which will also include Hot Spring Area and Depsang”.
He said, “I don’t think it has to come back to the status quo, which we were constantly demanding. It seems that we are focusing more on restoring peace on the border, rather than saying that we should return to the situation around April last year. ”
On Saturday, Indian and Chinese corps commanders met to discuss the next phase of disengagement in areas such as Hot Springs and Gogra Point, where Chinese troops built infrastructure on a much larger scale over the past year, although a partial disengagement (in July 2020) The retreat of the soldiers) took place.
Many experts are criticizing the agreement with China on reducing tension on the border. Noted strategic expert Brahma Chellani has also tweeted that China had to retreat and did the same to bring the status quo before April of last year but why is India trailing its troops?
Shivshankar Menon, former National Security Advisor and India’s Ambassador to China, has also not called this agreement in India’s favor. Menon has said in an interview to well-known journalist Karan Thapar that China was to retreat but India is retreating from the areas where Indian soldiers have been patrolling before. Menon has said that China moves two steps and one step backwards and that has been its strategy.
According to Shyam Saran, who prepared a report on the need for infrastructure on LAC for former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2013, the first phase of disengagement of Indian troops evacuated Kailash Range Heights, which includes Rechin La and Rejang La.
However, he said that after the Doklam dispute in 2017, Indian troops stopped Chinese troops from building a road in the Bhutan region, but Chinese troops later started to build roads and infrastructure in other areas of the same region.
He says, if emptying the Kailash range is part of a larger agreement, where we will return to the status quo and get the entire LAC disengaged at the end of the process, then yes, it will be fine. But if we empty these high altitudes and later we come to know that our expectation of Chinese disengagement is not fulfilled in the way that has been done on the ground, then yes, we would say that it is a smart thing from us There was no step.
When asked why he thinks China would have agreed to the disengagement, while he has been in possession of areas near the LAC for almost a year, Saran said that China may have “miscalculated” “May have thought that his aggressive attitude would be” low cost or low risk “.
But after the Galwan incident in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed and China has also said that at least four of its soldiers were killed, the Chinese “script” did not live up to the expectation and it could also seem that China will have to take a break Nothing more was achieved because the Indian Army remained on its own.