Defence

Disengagement at border with China is slow due to suspicions, India’s Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat

By WION

The disengagement process with China after the recent border standoff in the Ladakh area is slow due to suspicions on both sides, India’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat told WION in an exclusive interview.

After the tense border standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the two countries have begun the process of disengagement, but the negotiations have been proceeding slowly.

“The disengagement process with China is slow because there is suspicion on both sides,” India’s CDS General Bipin Rawat said.

“There are always suspicions on both sides,” General Rawat told WION’s Executive Editor Palki Sharma.

“When you have adversaries and you’ve had this kind of engagements in the past, there are always suspicions that if you withdraw prematurely, will the other side come up and occupy the same features. Because of these kind of suspicions that we have, we are trying to resolve these at the diplomatic, political and military level,” General Rawat said.

Noting that “some very good progress” has been made in the Pangong Tso area where the north and south banks of the lake have been vacated, he said: “in the other areas, it is happening in a transitory manner”.

“I think we are making good headway. While we should not expect very good progress because as I mentioned there will be suspicions, at the same time we have to ensure and not allow our guard to be lowered. We cannot take things for granted. We have to move in a very cautious manner.”

Yet, he said, “we do not want to continue to operate in this manner because this creates tension.”

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