New Delhi, Aug. 16: Within a day of stone hurling between Indian and Chinese troops, military commanders today met and decided to let the incident be a case of “bygones”, while strengthening the peace mechanisms along the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control (LAC).
A meeting was conducted this afternoon at Spanggur Gap in eastern Ladakh, sources said. They discussed “strengthening of the existing mechanism of peace and tranquillity”. Both promised to avoid a “repeat” .
Indian and Chinese troops had clashed yesterday, targeting one another with stones. Sources confirmed the incident occurred when land-based patrols came face-to-face north of Pangong Tso (lake) in eastern Ladakh.
Today was a pre-scheduled border personnel meeting (BPM) at the Spanggur Gap. More than 100 such meetings are conducted annually here, one of five such meeting points across the LAC.
India and China have an established protocol and mechanism to ensure peace along the LAC, that is not demarcated, and both countries have their own perceptions of the LAC. Since 1993, India and China have had key treaties to ensure peace along the LAC.
A series of agreements dictate the conduct of soldiers and how a committee should sort out matters. The first step is a banner drill: soldiers on patrol in disputed areas on coming face-to-face unfurl a banner. This cites an agreement inked in 2005. The “banner drill” mandates: “Throughout the face-to-face situation, neither side shall use force or threaten to use force.” There are 400 to 500 such banner drills done annually.
The Border Defence Cooperation Agreement inked in 2013 says patrols of either side in areas where there is no common understanding on LAC will not be tailed.
In 2012, a “Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs” was established. Its mandate is to address situations that may affect peace.THE TRIBUNE
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