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UT Ladakh along border with China under control, have strong ties with Nepal

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UT Ladakh along border with China under control, have strong ties with Nepal

Hours before Nepal’s lower house votes on a new political map of the country that includes Indian territories, Army chief General MM Naravane on Saturday underscored the strong people-to-people ties between the two countries that have lately soured over the map that depicts Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as Nepalese territory.

“We have a very strong relationship with Nepal. We have geographical, cultural, historical, religious linkages. We have very strong people-to-people connect. Our relation with them has always been strong and will remain strong in the future,

New Delhi’s hopes for an early resolution to the crisis in Ladakh through diplomatic channels, as happened during the earlier crises, have been hampered by lack of any immediate leverage with Beijing.

Moreover, the creation of Ladakh as a Union Territory, after the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, is being used by the Chinese as a pretext for the breakdown of existing border agreements.

The 1962 war is still considered the biggest reference point in the history of India-China military standoffs. The outcome of that war served to cast in stone the notion of Chinese military superiority. That notion seems to have continued into modern times, still having ramifications for bilateral ties and India’s China policy.

The Sunday Express spoke to three diplomats – all former Indian ambassadors to China – who were involved in diplomatic negotiations with Beijing during the crisis at Depsang in 2013, Chumar in 2014 and Doklam in 2017. They said that in each of these cases, there was an event or a visit, the success of which was important to Beijing, and this provided India immediate leverage during negotiations with the Chinese to resolve the crisis. Unlike then, the current negotiations are likely to be lengthy, leading to a protracted standoff along the Line of Actual Control.

During the 2014 Chumar crisis, it was the first visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to India after the election of a new government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, lending the event great significance.

Speaking about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, he said that in last 10-15 days alone, more than 15 terrorists have been killed by Indian forces.

“All of this has been because of very close cooperation and coordination between all the security forces operating in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” Naravane said.

He said that most of the operations in Kashmir by security forces were successfully carried out due to inputs provided by locals. He further claimed that Kashmiri locals are fed up with militancy and terrorism in the Valley and want situation there to return to normalcy.