If there's agreement, India must insist on joint statement: Cong on Ladakh

Indian army trucks

Amid talks with China over troops disengagement in eastern Ladakh, the Congress on Thursday said India must insist on a joint statement in case any agreement in the matter is reached as it would end any claims of repudiation later.

The Congress' senior spokesperson P Chidambaram said after India claimed about disengagement of troops, China has flatly denied any such agreement.

"If there is agreement on anything, India must insist on a joint statement so that we put and end to this tragi-comedy of claim and repudiation," he said on Twitter.

The government must explain what is going on in these never-ending talks with China, he said.

"Every time India claims that there has been 'agreement' on disengagement, China repudiates the claim. The latest is what India claimed in a statement yesterday and China's statement today flatly denying any agreement on disengagement."

Government sources on Wednesday said India and China may be on the verge of a breakthrough in resolving the over six-month-long tense border standoff in eastern Ladakh with both sides broadly agreeing on a three-step process on disengagement of troops and withdrawal of weaponry from all major friction points in a time-bound manner.

Chidambaram claimed the "reality is that China has entrenched itself in the territory it has encroached upon" and bitterly cold winter was ahead.

The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said India and China have agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels to resolve the Ladakh standoff even as it refrained from commenting on reports that the two sides are working on a plan to pull back troops and weapons from the border friction points.

"When we have something to share, we will share. Discussions are ongoing," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in reply to a volley of questions on whether India and China were working on specific proposals to resolve the over six-month-long row in eastern Ladakh.

India and China have been in a combat-ready situation ever since May with both sides deploying their troops heavily along the eastern Ladakh border. There have also been eight rounds of military talks over the situation.

Nearly 50,000 Indian Army troops are currently deployed in a high state of combat readiness in various mountainous locations in eastern Ladakh in sub-zero conditions as multiple rounds of talks between the two sides have not yielded any concrete outcome to resolve the standoff.

China has also deployed an equal number of troops, according to officials. The standoff between the two sides erupted in early May.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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