After almost 10 months, China has begun the disengagement process in Eastern Ladakh. Almost 200 battle tanks have been withdrawn from the south banks of Pangong Tso in a speed that has taken Indian army brass and national security planners by a sweet surprise. As China concedes to India’s firm stand and moves back , the focus is now likely to shift to Depsang area in Ladakh.

 

India is likely to raise the issue of Depsang in the next round of corps commander talks. This can be gauged from Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement on Thursday in which he said that India and China have agreed to convene the next corps commander level talks to address and resolve all other remaining issues.

 

Reports say that Depsang is an old issue and Indian army has not had access to a large chunk of this territory in last 10-15 years. Some say that China is unlikely to budge from its stand unless India has more cards to play.  A key strategic location, Depsang is located at an altitude of 16,000 feet and is located near Indian strategic airfield Daulat Beg Oldie. Vulnerable to threat, the area has witnessed a massive build up by both sides and needs to be scaled down.

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In response to the latest developments, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not fulfilled the responsibility of protecting Indian territory and has ceded territory to China. Calling him a coward who cannot stand up against China, Rahul Gandhi has alleged that PM Modi is betraying the sacrifice of the army.

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