NEW DELHI: Though substantial progress has been made in the disengagement process, the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, as per military assessment, is still “very fragile” and “quite dangerous” because of the close deployment of troops, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Saturday.
He made the observation a day after Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande said the situation along the LAC was “stable”, but there was a need to keep a “very close watch” on it.
Jaishankar said he and then Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had reached an in-principle agreement in September 2020 on how to resolve the issue and it was for China to deliver on what was agreed to. “Till that happens, the relationship between the two countries cannot return to normal,” he said at a media event. “We have deployed our troops and we have stood our ground. The situation to my mind still remains very fragile because there are places where our deployments are very close and therefore, quite dangerous,” Jaishankar said.
“Now we have made substantial progress when it comes to disengagement in many areas. There are many areas where we have ongoing discussions. It is a painstaking job and we will do that. We have made it very clear to the Chinese that we cannot have a breach of peace and tranquility, you can’t violate agreements and then want the rest of the relationship to continue as though nothing happened,” he said.
“This is a very, I would say, challenging and abnormal phase in our ties with China. From 1988, when Rajiv Gandhi went there till 2020, the understanding was that peace and tranquility on the border would be maintained,” he added.