NEW DELHI: In a welcome move, India and China on Monday agreed to an “expeditious disengagement” of border personnel at Doklam to end the 74-day long stand-off in the Sikkim sector, the biggest since the 1962 war. The move comes ahead of the BRICS summit in China that is likely to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We had, earlier in the day, announced that following diplomatic communications, expeditious disengagement of border personnel of India and China at the face-off site at Doklam was ongoing. This process (of disengagement of troops) has since been almost completed under verification,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement. “India has always maintained that it is only through diplomatic channels that differences on such matters can be addressed. Our principled position is that agreements and understandings reached on boundary issues must be scrupulously respected. India’s policy remains guided by the belief that peace and tranquillity in the border areas is an essential pre-requisite for further development of our bilateral relationship,” the MEA further said.
The two countries, New Delhi pointed out, had agreed in Astana that differences should not be allowed to become disputes and that India-China relations must remain stable. “We look forward to continuing engagement with the Chinese side on this basis,” the Ministry added.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday chaired a high-level meeting with the top officials of the ministry and chiefs of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and Border Security Force (BSF) at the North Block here to review the border infrastructure. While ITBP is the lead intelligence agency on the Indo-China border, the SSB is the LIA for Indo-Bhutan and Indo-Nepal borders
During meeting, ITBP chief was asked to keep the troops along the frontier with China extra vigilant.