PM Modi makes surprise visit to Ladakh: Briefed at 11,000 feet

Vicky Nanjappa
·3-min read

New Delhi, July 03: Prime Minister, Narendra Modi made a surprise visit to Ladakh amidst the tense stand off with China. His visit comes days after the violent clash that broke out between Indian and Chinese soldiers at the Galwan Valley on June 15.

The PM visited one of the forward locations in Nimu. He reached early this morning and interacted with the Army, IAF and ITBP personnel. The PM was also briefed by senior officers of the Army.

Located at 11,000 feet, this is one of the the toughest terrains. It is surrounded by the Zanskar range and on the banks of the Indus.

The PM arrived at Leh along with Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat. The move comes in the wake of the stand off with China. The PM is also accompanied by Army Chief General M M Naravane.

The Northern Army Commander was also present at the meeting and the PM was briefed by Lt. General Harinder Singh.

The CDS would take stock of the situation and understand the proposed de-escalation and disengagement process at the four stand off points. General Rawat will be briefed by XIV Corps Commander, Lt. General Harinder Singh. He will also take note of the requirements on the ground.

Both India and China have agreed to restart the pullback at Galwan Valley and Hot Springs.

It may be recalled that both sides had agreed on the pullback on June 2, but the process got derailed due to the violent brawl that took place on June 15.

While both sides are in agreement, there has however been no disengagement on the ground, sources tell OneIndia. Both sides during the talks held on Tuesday emphasised that there was a need to pullback. The modalities are being worked out, the source cited above said.

The military commanders of both sides had met for the third time on June 30 and the meeting went on late into the night. Sources tell OneIndia that both sides will find ways to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution to ensure peace along the Line of Actual Control.

Both sides discussed specifics of disengagement and de-escalation along the Line of Actual Control.

Although the decisions are yet to take shape on the ground, the Narendra Modi government has given the Indian Military a free hand to deal with the situation. On the other hand, the Indian Military is standing up to the People's Liberation Army.

At the meeting held on Tuesday, India and China emphasised on the need for a phased and step-wise de-escalation strategy. This should be the priority, both sides agreed.

While the steps to be taken to disengage were discussed at the meeting, the point of contention remained the troop build up. There has been absolutely no sign of the troop reduction. The Chinese have pulled off in very small pockets and that is hardly anything to talk about, the source cited above said.

The military commanders during their discussions spoke about the key friction areas at Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley and the Gogra Post-Hot Springs pockets. In the previous two meetings, India had sought the restoration of status quo ante. While the talks held on June 06 appeared positive, the violent clash at the Galwan Valley on June 15 derailed the process.

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