Sources in the military establishment said on Tuesday that Indian and Chinese troops have completed the disengagement process at Patrolling Point-15 in the Gogra-Hot Springs area of eastern Ladakh.
Sources said the process was completed by Tuesday afternoon. Earlier in the day, sources had said that the process is still on.
Last week, the government had said that the decontamination process in the region began at 8.30 am on Thursday (September 8) and would be completed by Monday (September 12). But this process was completed a day later than expected i.e. today on September 13.
The six-day process had five components: preventing “further deployments”; withdrawal of troops from both sides to their respective territories; dismantling “all temporary structures and other associated infrastructure”; restoration of “landforms in the region” in the event of a former standoff by both sides; Preventing further deployment “in a phased, coordinated and verified manner”, and ensuring that structures are “destroyed and mutually verified”.
Top government sources told Indian Express Local army commanders and officers were given strict instructions to “verify” each movement. It is learned that instructions were also issued to the commanders to complete the entire process peacefully and not to increase tension in the area. Pointing to the Galwan clashes that took place in June 2020 over the disintegration of the PP-14, sources said the idea was not to have any untoward incident.
But the widespread shortage of 60,000 soldiers and arms and ammunition, including heavy equipment, the sources said, are still to be negotiated.
The decision to remove PP-15 was taken before Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar left for Tokyo for the India-Japan 2+2 ministerial meeting last week.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was overseeing the process in New Delhi accompanied by top officials of the armed forces while the minister was away. Jaishankar and Singh have also been briefed about the process.
Now, with the dissolution processes completed smoothly and successfully, the stage is set for the Prime Minister Narendra ModiPossible meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Samarkand on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit on September 15 and 16.
The meeting between Modi and Xi is yet to be confirmed, but there is no denying it either.
With the completion of decommissioning in PP-15, the armies of the two countries, which have been face-off since May 2020, have been displaced at all friction points in the region, including the north and south coasts. pangong tsoPP-14, PP-15 and PP-17A.
However, other contentious issues related to the border still remain between the two countries and Chinese forces continue to block Indian access to traditional patrol areas along the LAC in Depsang plains and Charding Nala area.
The last agreement between the armies of the two countries was in PP-17A in August 2021 after the 12th Corps Commander-level meeting. After this three rounds of talks did not bring any success. A settlement was reached in the 16th round.