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    Indian Army’s Capture Of Key Heights Inc Kailash Hills In Eastern Ladakh Forced Chinese PLA To Step Back

    February 16, 2021
    • This would not have happened unless our Nationalist Government headed by the Statesman had given a free hand to the army in deciding the strategy at Ground Zero
    * And this is a PARADIGMATIC SHIFT in approach compared to the weak-kneed responses of all the previous non-BJP regimes at the Centre.
    1.Even as nuclear-armed neighbours India and China have started withdrawing their troops from the highly contested Eastern Ladakh border, experts believe it was the result of Beijing not having an answer to the Indian Army’s capture of key heights, including the Kailash Hills.
    2.on August 30, 2020, the Special Frontier Force (SFF) troops secured Kailash Ridge as a pre-emptive operation, taking the PLA by surprise.
    2.1. This action proved a game-changer, neutralising gains made by the Chinese along the northern bank of Pangong Tso and rendering PLA positions east of Spanggur Gap-Maldo Garrison totally vulnerable.
    2.2. Why the PLA did not go for Kailash Ridge initially as part of its aggression in May 2020 could be because of two plausible reasons: first, the paucity of infantry as 4 Infantry Division, now motorised, not suited to hold ground, and second, a presumption that Indian Army will not venture to undertake proactive counteractions.
    3.In 1962, it was on the Kailash Ridge that Indian soldiers proved their mettle and made the PLA pay a heavy price, despite being poorly equipped and ill-prepared. Today, given a rich experience in high altitude-cum-glacial warfare, coupled with vastly improved equipment and infrastructure, the Indian Army is well-positioned to hold the Kailash Range for good.
    4.On Last Thursday, following a months-long standoff on the disputed border, the two countries began to pull back troops and battle tanks from the Pangong Tso area in Eastern Ladakh on Thursday.
    5.The decision to disengage was based on the consensus reached during the ninth round of corps commander-level meeting, according to reports.
    6.Both New Delhi and Beijing had undertaken heavy deployment of troops and armoured units along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto border since the stand-off started in May last year.
    7.1. Harsh V Pant, a strategic affairs expert and a professor at King’s College, London, says that while China had shown its resolve by not moving the positions of its troops for almost a year, the Indian Army’s success in holding strategic heights pushed them to take a step back.
    7.2. China did so because the Indian Army has taken up positions on the high hills around eastern Ladakh and the Kailash hills, he said.
    7.3. “China was also having trouble taking the Indian front on the high hills as it was becoming very difficult to adapt the army to the geographical conditions and weather of the region. It’s not easy to stay in this situation for very long, so they were forced to step back,” Pant told BBC.
    8.According to the agreement, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will be moving their troops to Finger 8 (mountainous spur) while the Indian Army would move back to Finger 3 – Dhan Singh Thapa base, leading to the restoration of the status quo.
    9.Moreover, it has also been agreed that there will be no patrolling in the area between Finger 3 and 8.
    10.The agreement to withdraw from Pangong Tso, a glacial lake at 14,000 ft (4,270 meters), was announced by India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Parliament on February 12.
    10.1. “Our sustained talks with China have led to an agreement on disengagement on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake,” he said.
    Ramdas Iyer