India and China are exploring options for disengagement of troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which could possibly include mutually pulling back armoured units that have been deployed on the frontlines over the past few months.
Proposals for reducing tensions were discussed at the military commanders meeting on Monday which are being studied by the top leadership on both sides to decide the next steps. As reported, a joint statement after the talks referred to the discussions as “positive and constructive” that have enhanced understanding of each other’s positions.
On Thursday, the Ministry of External Affairs reiterated this position. “The two sides have a better understanding of each other’s positions. Disengagement is a complex process that requires redeployment of troops by each side towards their regular posts on their respective sides of the LAC,” the official spokesperson said.
Pulling back of armoured units from the frontline – both sides have deployed hundreds of tanks and armoured personnel carriers on the border, some of them barely a few hundred feet apart – could lead to a significant reduction of tensions. However, since the Galwan clash, huge distrust has emerged, with the Indian side clear that it would not take anything on face value any longer.
Sources have told ET that in the past few months, there have been cases where tanks and armoured vehicles from the Chinese side were deployed aggressively at the Chushul flashpoints, coming dangerously close to forward positions established by the Indian Army at key ingress points.
More rounds of talks are expected in the coming weeks, with the coming winter months being critical as disengaging or pulling back troops could get difficult as the weather deteriorates.