KL NEWS NETWORK
Two days after Red Army threw red carpets to its counterparts at the Line of Actual Control (LoAC), Home Minister Rajnath Singh has arrived in Leh. Apart from reviewing the security situation, the visit is aimed at addressing the tensions that arose in certain sections that Ladakh is being punished for being peaceful.
Singh, who has been to Srinagar thrice in last more than 80 days, has not been able to break ice. However, his forth visit to the state is going to be highly successful as the agenda of the visit is completely different from his earlier forays into the state. Sections in Ladakh and Jammu regions reacted negatively for the Home Minister visiting Kashmir and ignoring them and the visit is aimed at addressing that resentment.
Rajnath is expected to have detailed interactions with the local political leadership, the armed forces and the officials. Ladakh region has borders with Pakistan and Chinese Tibet. On top of the agenda is to see the infrastructural requirements at the LoAC.
Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi is also accompanying the Home Minister.
The visiting leader would also have a detailed meeting with Lt Gen PJS Pannu, Commander of the Leh based corps, and senior officers of para-military ITBP, which man the LAC with China in Eastern Ladakh. The emphasis would remain on continuing the calm at the LoAC.
Interestingly, Chinese and Indian army is expected to have joint exercises in Eastern Ladakh later this month. This would be their second joint exercise after February 2016. The two armies have, over the years, evolved a set mechanism to settle the mutual issues. They regularly hold meetings at two Border Meeting Points (BMPs) Chushul and Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO).
According to information given to reporters by Deputy Commissioner Prasanna Ramaswamy, Home Minister will also have meetings with various delegations of social and religious groups besides the Hill Development Councils of Leh and Kargil during the overnight stay. LAHDC heads of the two districts Dr Sonam Dawa and Kacho Ahmad Ali Khan will lead two delegations to the Home Minister and list their demands.
Already on Saturday, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) hosted a special ceremonial border meeting to celebrate Chinese National Day. The meeting took place at Chushul and was attended by the higher officials on both sides, a sure sign of increasing mutual trust and confidence between the two armies.