India on Friday called on China to work with it to complete the stalled process of disengagement and de-escalation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as the future of bilateral ties depends on the situation along the border.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava outlined India’s position on the need to complete the disengagement process “at the earliest” against the backdrop of reports of China’s reluctance to vacate positions in territory that India considers to be on its side of the LAC.
The two sides have held several meetings of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on border affairs and the corps commanders to ensure complete disengagement in line with existing agreements and protocols but the process of thinning out troops has virtually stalled at several friction points, particularly Pangong Lake and Depsang.
“We therefore expect the Chinese side to sincerely work with us towards the objective of complete disengagement and de-escalation and full restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas as agreed by the Special Representatives,” Srivastava told a weekly news briefing.
“This is also necessary and essential in the context of overall development of our bilateral relationship. As the external affairs minister had noted in a recent interview, the state of the border and the future of our ties cannot be separated,” he added.
The engagements through diplomatic and military channels for complete disengagement in the border areas is in accordance with the agreement of the Special Representatives of India and China that “early and complete disengagement” along the LAC is “essential for the smooth overall development of bilateral relations”, Srivastava said.
He said further meetings of WMCC and the corps commanders “are likely to happen in the near future” but did not give details.
Srivastava noted that both sides had reached agreement on the “broad principles of disengagement”, and based on this, “some progress had been earlier made”.
He further said: “I must add that translating these principles on ground is a complex process that requires redeployment of troops by each side towards their regular posts on their respective sides of the LAC. It is natural that this can be done only through mutually agreed reciprocal actions.
“While we would like the ongoing disengagement process to be completed at the earliest, it is important to bear in mind that achieving this requires agreed actions by both sides.”__Hindustan Times