As India and China undertake efforts to deescalate ongoing border tensions, there seems to be some confusion about what exactly has happened thus far. Recent reports have said that the armies of the two countries have concluded withdrawal of troops and weapons from north and south banks of Pangong Tso in the high-altitude region.
According to a PTI report, India is learnt to have insisted on a faster disengagement process in areas such as Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang during the 10th round of the senior commanders' meeting least week. Reportedly, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had told his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi that the two sides could look at broader de-escalation of troops in the area and work towards restoration of peace and tranquility once disengagement is completed at all friction points.
More recently, on Wednesday, Army chief General MM Naravane had reportedly said that while the disengagement process was underway, there was "still a long way to go" before de-escalation of conflict in the theatre and eventual de-induction of rival soldiers can be achieved through talks. He also mentioned that there were systems in place to ensure that areas could not be recaptured.
But even as many exult about the ongoing process, BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy has struck a cautionary note. Citing the army chief's remarks, he said that "Chinese troops have not withdrawn from anywhere in PLA occupied Ladakh territory".
Swamy gave the example of Depsang, a place that Naravane had said remained an issue, even as strategies were in place to bring about a resolution.
"We withdrew from Pangong area for which Doval claims "credit'. Yet we are normalizing with China. Yielding to blackmail...or is spin?" asked Swamy.
As one Twitter user shared the Hindustan Times article quoting Naravane, Swamy heaped further criticism on the Centre's actions.
"what is the hurry to clear Chinese projects and invite Xi Jingping to Delhi. BRICS summit is useless now. First make China withdraw from Depsang and other places in Ladakh," he suggested.