"MOST SERIOUS SITUATION AFTER 1962": S JAISHANKAR ON LADAKH
The stand-off with China in eastern Ladakh is "surely the most serious situation after 1962", Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar has said, referring to the 1962 Indo-China war.
"This is surely the most serious situation after 1962. In fact, after 45 years, we have had military casualties on this border. The quantum of forces currently deployed by both sides at the LAC is also unprecedented," Mr Jaishankar said in an interview to Rediff.com.
India and China have had several rounds of military and diplomatic meetings, with only limited disengagement having taken place in parts of eastern Ladakh.
Indian and Chinese forces have been locked in a tense stand-off since May. 20 Indian soldiers were killed in action at Galwan Valley in Ladakh on June 15 in a deadly brawl with Chinese troops, stoking anger against China that led to weeks of talks between senior officials on how to ease tensions.
The Foreign Minister said that India has conveyed to China "clearly" that peace and tranquility in the border areas are the basis for the relationship between the two neighbours.
"If we look back at the last three decades, this is quite self-evident. Indian and Chinese armies are locked in a tense stand-off in eastern Ladakh for over three-and-half-month despite multiple rounds of diplomatic and military talks," Mr Jaishankar said.
He said border situations in the past were resolved through diplomacy. "If you look back over the last decade, there have been a number of border situations -- Depsang, Chumar and Doklam. In a sense, each one was different. This one surely is. But what is also common is that all border situations were resolved through diplomacy," the Foreign Minister said.
The Foreign Minister said that a solution to the stand-off with China must be predicated on honouring all agreements and understandings without attempting to alter the status quo unilaterally.
"As you know, we are talking to the Chinese both through military channels and diplomatic ones. In fact, they work in tandem," he told Rediff.com ahead of the release of his book ''The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World''.
India and China have not been able to agree on their 3,488-km -long border that runs from the snow deserts of Ladakh in the western sector to thick forest and mountains in the east, despite several rounds of talks over the years.