Ladakh Stand-off: Indian Army takes over vital heights on Southern and Northern banks of Pangong Tso

For the first time since border stand-off between India and China began in May of this year, Indian Army has moved offensive. The forces have taken over strategically vital heights on both Southern and Northern banks of the Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh.

Since the night of August 29th, violating the consensus of status quo, China made several attempts to alter the situation on the ground. However, Indian forces this time outsmarted the Chinese by not only foiling their attempts but also by launching counter offense to take over the posts and heights which the enemy was eyeing.

As part of pre-emptive action, Indians forces took over outposts on Northern and Southern banks of the Pangong Tso lake. The forces have reached dominating heights on the Northern bank along finger four. The army has now established itself on these regions by establishing posts.

According to defense experts, the latest move puts Indian forces on an advantage situation with heights under their control. From there, Indian forces would now be able to monitor Chinese positions, bases and even supply lines.

Indian Army has confirmed that some “readjustments of deployment” were carried out around Pangong Tso.

There are however no unanimity on the subject of casualties in these operations over past couple of days. Some sources maintain that there were no significant direct clashes between the two sides during the course of China’s intrusions and India’s counter offensive operations.

While other sources claim that there indeed were direct clashes between the two sides. It is also being suggested that after months of fruitless discussions and China’s provocations, India’s military men deployed at the ground zero are running out of patience.

Meanwhile India’s foreign ministry has accused China of first provocation and has held them guilty of violating the status quo. Indian foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said China “engaged in provocative military manoeuvres in the late night of 29 and 30 August in an attempt to change the status quo in the South Bank area of Pangong Lake”.

“(The Indian Army) responded to these provocative actions and took appropriate defensive measures along the LAC in order to safeguard our interests and defend the territorial integrity,” he added.

“Such actions are also in complete disregard to the understandings reached between the two foreign ministers as also the special representatives,” he said, referring to telephone conversations in June and July.

With the latest round of action, the experts speculate the tensions between the two countries to only go up from here on. It remains to be seen where this stand-off culminates, whether across the table or across battlefield.