New Delhi: With Beijing sticking to its stand that its troops have not violated the Line of Actual Control (LAC), External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will be visiting China on May 9. Khurshid is hopeful the impasse would be resolved through dialogue and despite the failure of the last two flag meets, Delhi is seeking another one with Beijing. China, however, has yet not replied to India's demand for a third flag meeting.
"Flag meetings have taken place and more will take place. The Army will judge. There is a mechanism that we have set to make military personnel solve such issues. I am sure they will find a way to solve it," he had said.
Though China has refused to move out of Daulat Beg Oldi area, Khurshid has maintained that "disagreements on the ground" take place because of differences in perception over the LAC. "We have a system in place which kicks in when there is an issue and then that system tries to provide a solution. That is what we are doing right now. That process is going on and I hope we will find a solution. I think we are going in the right direction," he said.
"We have a system in place which kicks in when there is an issue and then that system tries to provide a solution. That is what we are doing right now. That process is going on and I hope we will find a solution. I think we are going in the right direction," the minister said. "I do not think we should be talking about it in too much of detail because let the process work out a solution. Let us not either create an impediment or a doubt about the process," he added.
Khurshid's comments came on Wednesday, a day after a flag meeting between the two sides failed to end the stand-off as China demanded that India should dismantle some bunkers being built in Ladakh. Chinese troops entered Indian territory in DBO on April 15, established a small camp and have refused to go back to their side of the LAC.
Meanwhile, the Army has told the government about various military options that can be exercised to deal with the situation arising out of the intrusion in Ladakh. The Army has given its inputs on the incursion by Chinese troops to the National Security Advisor-headed China Study Group which includes the Secretaries of the Ministries of Defence, Home and External Affairs, government sources said.
The inputs given by the force are also about various options including using military aggressively in the situation, they said. All the options suggested to the China Study Group are being looked at carefully and other stakeholders in the situation have also given their inputs, they said. The China Study Group is handling the whole issue in consultation with the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and the Defence Ministry.
The Army had rushed its troops from the 5 Ladakh Scouts battalion to the DBO area and they are camping there. The force is also considering the option of dispatching additional troops if the need arises. On April 15, a platoon-strength contingent of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) had come 10 km inside the
Indian territory in Burthe in the DBO sector on the night of April 15 and established a tented post there.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing on Wednesday that "the Chinese border troops have been acting in strict compliance with the bilateral agreements and conducting normal patrol on the Chinese side of the LAC". "They have never crossed the line by a step," she said.
(With additional information from PTI)