Three-Day Indian Army Conference concluded with a decision to halt patrolling on Pangong Tso Lake

Monitoring Desk: After beaten up by soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army of China, the Indian Army has halted patrolling near Pangong Tso Lake, reports Indian media.

According to Indian news channels and sources in the Ministry of Defence, the apex leadership of the Indian Army on Friday deliberated on various aspects related to existing and developing security challenges and decided to seize patrolling at Pangong Tso Lake in disputed areas between India and China in Ladakh.

It is pertinent to mention that the Indian Army held a three-day conference of its top commanders which lasted on Friday.

Issuing a brief statement, the Army did not mention the specific issues discussed at the biannual event but Indian media confirmed that the apex leadership of the Indian Army has decided to resolve issues with China without involving the United States and by withdrawing from troubled spots in Ladakh.

Official sources said a review of the situation in eastern Ladakh where Indian and Chinese troops are engaged in a tense standoff was a major focus area of the discussion.

“Over three days, the Indian Army’s apex leadership deliberated upon various aspects related to existing and developing security challenges,” the Indian Army statement said.

The sources said the leadership of the Indian Army decided that Indian troops will maintain a peaceful situation in all disputed areas like Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie in eastern Ladakh and will avoid faceoff with Chinese Army.

The Chinese Army is learned to have deployed around 2,500 troops in Pangong Tso and Galwan Valley besides gradually enhancing temporary infrastructure and weaponry.

Official sources said satellite images have captured significant ramping up of defence infrastructure by China on its side of the de-facto border including construction activities at a military airbase around 180 km from the Pangong Tso area.

The second phase of the conference will take place from June 24-27 and will focus on ambitious reform measures and administrative issues.

Meanwhile, India on Friday conveyed to the US that it was eyeing to resolve the military standoff with China in eastern Ladakh through existing bilateral mechanisms, sending a clear message to Washington for the second consecutive day that President Donald Trump”s offer to mediate on the border row was not acceptable to it.

India’s position on the issue was conveyed to US Defense Secretary Mark T Esper by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during a telephonic conversation, official sources said.

It is pertinent to mention that MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava on Thursday said India was engaged with China at military and diplomatic levels to resolve the ongoing standoff with China.

The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi demanded that the government should “come clean and tell India exactly what is happening” amid rising tension with China following a military face-off in Ladakh earlier this month.

Rahul Gandhi said continuing silence on this issue was leading to “massive speculation and uncertainty” even as India also fights a coronavirus pandemic that has infected over 1.6 lakh people in the country.

“The Government’s silence about the border situation with China is fuelling massive speculation and uncertainty at a time of crisis. Government of India must come clean and tell India exactly what’s happening,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted Friday morning.