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Army sources point out that by measuring all distances from the Y-Junction, rather than from the traditional LAC alignment west of PP-14, the Y-Junction has been effectively regarded as the LAC point.
It is learnt that this was done on the insistence of Chinese military negotiators. New Delhi continues to insist that the LAC runs along the line of PP-14, but has undermined its own claim by agreeing to locate its forward tent post 2.4 km from what it claims is the LAC, while allowing the Chinese forward tent post to be just 400 metres from our claimed LAC.
For now, neither country is permitted to send patrols ahead of their forward tent post. That means the Indian army, which earlier sent patrols all the way up the Galwan River valley to PP-14, will have to maintain a distance of 2.4 km from PP-14. In contrast, Chinese patrols can come up to 400 metres from PP-14.
Meanwhile, no agreement has been reached for the Chinese to disengage or pull back from confrontation points south of Galwan at PP-15 and Hot Spring area, where large numbers of Indian and Chinese soldiers continue their face-off.
Near PP-15, where the Chinese have built a road extending 3 km into Indian-claimed territory, more than 1,000 Chinese troops are eyeball-to-eyeball with an equal number of Indian soldiers.
In the Hot Spring area, the Chinese have not built a road, but over 1,500 Chinese troops have intruded 2-3 km into Indian territory at the Gogra Heights (PP-17A) and are being blocked by a matching Indian deployment.
Nor is there any agreement on disengagement in the Pangong Tso sector. Here, Chinese troops have crossed the existing LAC that ran along a mountain spur called Finger 8 and intruded 8 km into Indian-claimed territory up to a spur called Finger 4. Indian troops have traditionally patrolled up to Finger 8, but are now being blocked by the Chinese intruders at Finger 4. It is understood the Chinese are refusing to withdraw to Finger 8 unless India withdraws to Finger 2.
planners find themselves contemplating the possibility of more Chinese intrusions along the contested 3,488-km border. That could lead to the army having to man a “hardened LAC” round the year, like the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan.
Besides the heavy cost of setting up this border infrastructure, the Indian army, which already spends three quarters of its budget on salaries and pensions, could find itself requiring even more manpower.
Army planners also worry that a heated LAC, with an additional commitment of troops and equipment, would erode India's conventional first-strike deterrent against Pakistan.