Lt General AL Chavan, who was the Commander of the 3rd Infantry Division in Ladakh in 2013, when Chinese troops had come into Depsang Valley leading to a standoff, writes that of the nearly 50-km long Galwan Nala, 45 km lie to the Southeast of India’s perception of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at Patrol Post 14, which is five to six km east of where Galwan Nala meets Shyok river. This is why China claims that Galwan Valley belongs to them.
In Pangong Tso, both sides used to patrol till their claim lines, which is Finger 8 for India and Finger 4 for China. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was technically correct when he said there is no intrusion in our “borders” the Chinese have deployed at Finger 5, and our troops are deployed at Finger 4, the endeavour is for the Chinese go East of the Finger 8 and we move back West to our original position, thus restoring status quo ante as obtaining on 20 April 2020.
In Ladakh, there is no concept of a politically agreed and jointly demarcated line for an international boundary between India and China. Due to an undefined LAC, troops from China and India endeavour to exercise their sovereignty which is usually done in terms of domination by patrolling, improving accessibility, habitat and defensive capability. The patrols are done till Patrol Points, which roughly corresponds to India’s perception of the LAC.
There has been tremendous improvement in the infrastructure which has improved our domination of distant and inaccessible Patrol Points along the LAC. Today, we can drive from Darbuk to Dault Beg Oldie in approximately six-eight hours, and it has given us major benefits in terms of domination of Depsang Bulge in the DBO area. It may not be an overstatement to claim that we will be at par or better connected than the Chinese within the next couple of years if the present momentum is maintained.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines