External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said senior military commanders of India and China have held nine rounds of talks on the process of disengagement of troops in eastern Ladakh and the parleys will continue in future also.
Addressing reporters in Vijayawada, he said so far there was no “visible expression” of the talks on ground. “The disengagement talks, because it is a very complicated issue, because it depends on troops, you have to know the geography (like) which position and what is happening, this is being done by the military commanders,” he said.
The minister was replying to a query on whether there would be any ministerial level talks between both the countries on skirmishes between troops of the Asian giants. China and India are locked in a military standoff in eastern Ladakh since May 5 last.
The two countries have held several rounds of military and diplomatic talks to resolve the face-off, but no significant headway has been made so far. “So, military commanders have held nine rounds of meetings so far. We believe some progress has been made, but it is not, in a kind of situation where there is a visible expression of that on the ground,” he said.
Referring to the parleys he and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held with their respective chinese counterparts last year in Moscow, Jaishanakar said it was agreed that there should be disengagement in some points. “Right now the military commanders are talking and they will continue to talk,” he said.
On the recent union budget, he said there has been a significant additional outlay for the Defence, both in the financial year as well as capital expenditure. The minister said there is an 18 per cent increase in the capital expenditure which, according to him, is the highest during the past 15 years.
During the Covid-19 induced lockdown last year, Jaishankar noted that as many as four million Indians stranded abroad were brought back by operating 17,000 flights. The workers who came back from gulf countries during the Covid-19 pandemic have now started returning, which is a good sign, he added.
Explaining the salient features of the budget, he said it indicates the way between the “Covid-19 recovery and Economic recovery”.