Indian troops have always taken a responsible approach at LAC: Doval tells Wang Yi

NSA Ajit Doval with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (File)

New Delhi (NVI): Indian troops had always taken a very responsible approach towards border management and at the same time, the forces were deeply committed to ensuring India’s sovereignty and security, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval told Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi at Special Representative level talks held recently, says MEA.

The SR-level talks were held on July 5 between NSA Doval and Wang Yi on the recent developments in the western sector of the India-China borders, which has witnessed the withdrawal of Chinese troops in Galwan Valley along LAC, after a long stand-off.

“During the conversation, the NSA conveyed categorically India’s position on the recent developments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) including in the Galwan valley area. NSA emphasised in this context that the Indian troops had always taken a very responsible approach towards border management and at the same time, our forces were deeply committed to ensuring India’s sovereignty and security,” External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said today.

Apart from that, in the telephonic conversation held on Sunday, the two SRs agreed that peace and tranquility in border areas was essential for the overall development of bilateral relations, the MEA spokesperson said.

“In this regard they also shared the view that it was necessary to ensure at the earliest complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC and de-escalation in the India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquility in accordance with the bilateral agreements and protocols,” he said.

One of the key provisions of these bilateral agreements is the commitment by two sides shall strictly respect and observe the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The two SRs have also agreed that the two sides should work together to avoid any incident in the future that could disturb peace and tranquility in border areas, MEA said.

Srivastava further informed that the diplomatic and military officials of both sides will continue their meetings to take forward the process of disengagement and de-escalation as agreed to by the Special Representatives. “The next meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC) is expected to take place soon,” he said.

The MEA spokesman also said that although the disengagement process is underway through proper military and diplomatic channels, there have been some inaccurate and uninformed comments on the issue, which are creating confusion.

“We have also noted that there have been some inaccurate and uninformed comments about the disengagement process and its implications. Let me remind you that in the last few weeks, we have made several statements spelling out categorically the position of the Government on different aspects of the current situation in the Western Sector of India-China border areas,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said today.

“They include our position that recent Chinese claims to the Galwan Valley area are exaggerated and untenable; that the LAC must be strictly respected and observed as this is the basis for peace and tranquility in the border areas; and that neither side should take any unilateral action to alter it,” Srivastava said while clarifying on the official stand of
the government over the issue.

He said that the Indian government remains convinced of the need for maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas and the resolution of differences through dialogue. “At the same time, we are also strongly committed to ensuring India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he added.

Earlier on Monday, MEA had said that NSA Doval had a “frank and in-depth exchange of views” with Wang Yi yesterday, on the recent developments in the western sector of the India-China borders.

Earlier on June 17, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had spoken to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi over the phone and conveyed India’s protest in “strongest terms” on the violent face-off in Galwan Valley in Ladakh on June 15.

In first signs of withdrawal of Chinese troops along LAC in Eastern Ladakh earlier this week, the PLA removed tents and dismantled its structures in the disputed area.

India and China are currently locked in a bitter standoff at multiple locations in Eastern Ladakh, especially after the June 15 violent clash between the Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan Valley in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives.

-ARK