Talks between India and China at the ‘commander level’ to complete the disengagement in Ladakh are likely after the Kargil Diwas functions are over on July 26.
The last round, held in January between the 14 Corps commander, Lieutenant-general PGK Menon and Major General Lin Liu, was in January and since then, there has been a round of Working Mechanism — the WMCC– talks and also, a meeting between external affairs minister S.Jaishankar and Wang Yi, his Chinese counterpart. This time, Naveen Srivastava, additional secretary (East Asia), is likely to be part of the negotiations as he has been for the last few occasions.
During the Jaishankar-Wang meeting, it was decided to hold another round of commander level talks and the Chinese initially suggested 26 July. But because it is Kargil Diwas– the day India celebrates victory and remembers the heroes of the 1999 undeclared war with Pakistan– India wanted another date. The President of India, Mr Ram Nath Kovind, will also be in Kargil on that day. So, the meeting will be held after that, most probably around the end of this month. Early August is also a possibility.
The primary issues to be discussed will be the disengagement of troops in the Gogra and Hot Springs area, as also, Depsang, where the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has a considerable amount of troops, and also, a lot of tanks, self-propelled artillery and air-defence guns.