Binoo Joshi

As the things have emerged after the fourth round of Corps Commander level talks- first since July 5 talks between special representatives on border question , in Chushul on Wednesday, is that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has made Beijing realise that China had miscalculated the Indian response in Eastern Ladakh.

China had essentially miscalculated on three fronts : seeing that India was down with Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on economy , it had failed to calculate that Indian response in sending troops and war-like machinery to eastern Ladakh as quickly as India did. Second, it faltered in assessing that despite Indian troops tied to guarding the LoC and fighting the militancy in the hinterland of Kashmir . India had its responses ready without disturbing its counter-infiltration and counter-insurgency grids – a lesson that it had learnt during the Kargil war in 1999. It had shifted troops from the Valley to Kargil and the CI grid was disturbed, and the terrorists had gained in the long run. Third, it had not anticipated the Indian nation’s reaction to the standoff position , particularly after the June 15 Galwan Valley clashes in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.

NSA had delivered an important lesson on the strategic battlefields in his conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on July 5 through video conference that India cannot be taken as that of 1962, and its international relations have traveled far beyond the waters of seas in the world. It had the natural support of the countries that China lacked.

Emboldened by the outcome of the July 5 talks, the Indian side on Wednesday had better cards in hand to negotiate with Chinese. The 15-hour-long meeting of the corps commanders in Chushul on Wednesday made it clear that India was not willing to cede any point , neither in its position on the ground and the outcome that it wanted in disengagement and de-escalation before the defining of LAC nor in negotiations by way of words . “Peace and tranquility is not an ear pleasing phrase, it must translate into the reality on the LAC,” that the Indian side had conveyed to Chinese in very clear terms .

Against this whole backdrop , it becomes still clearer that Ajit Doval has changed the course of the dialogue and injected new confidence among the negotiators who know that the best strategic mind in the country has laid out clear objectives.

That is what is making things to move on, though there are many hurdles in achieving the goal set for end of the impasse, yet the work is in progress.