India has not ceded any land to China during the faceoff in Ladakh, said Lt Gen YK Joshi, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Army’s Northern Command.
In an exclusive interview to CNN-News18, Lt Gen Joshi spoke about the Chinese casualties in the face-off at Galwan Valley in June 2020, adding that “China achieved nothing except loss of face”.
When asked if India has ceded land, Lt Gen Joshi refuted the charge. “No. A very emphatic no, actually. We have to look at it in this manner that Finger 8 is our claim line. The PLA, the entire forces are going back behind Finger 8. The entire infrastructure that they created post April last year between Finger 4 and 8, which is quite a lot, is being removed entirely. Be the dugout, the trenches, their bunkers and tents, everything is being removed. The entire landfall between Finger 4 and 8 would be restored completely to pre-April 2020 situation,” he said.
“The last and most important point is they will not carry out any activity on our claimed area, that is, on the side of Finger 8, be it a military activity or any other activity. So, I think it is a big success. In our claimed areas, we have removed the entire infrastructure. We will not be carrying out any activity till we have a discussion subsequently. After this process is over, we will arrive at new protocols and a new patrolling policy.”
Regarding concerns that in South Bank, India gave up tactical advantage by climbing down from the Kailash Range, Lt Gen Joshi said, “The Kailash Range was occupied with a purpose. The Chinese surprised us initially by occupying parts of our areas — till Finger 4 of the north bank — and the negotiations were going nowhere. We had five flag meetings at the Corps Commander level and we were not succeeding in any manner. Then, I got instructions from my chief that we need to gain some leverage.”
“On August 29-30, we launched this operation and occupied the entire dominating heights of Rezang La, Rechin La on the south bank, on the north bank as well, where we were dominating the entire PLA deployment. This was done to gain some success on the negotiating table. This disengagement is happening because we had taken the dominating position on the Kailash range. So, now the purpose has been achieved, we are going back to status quo ante April 2020. Plus, it has also been assured in the 9th Corps Commander Flag meeting, the areas that are now being vacated, will not be occupied,” said Lt Gen Joshi.