India's former envoy to China, Vikram Misri, appointed Deputy NSA

Vikram Misri (right) garlanded the statue of Mahatma Gandhi on his 151st birth anniversary, at a popular park in Beijing on October 2, 2020. File Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Vikram Misri, a 1989 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, who served as envoy in China amid the border dispute, has been appointed as Deputy National Security Advisor in the National Security Council secretariat.

Misri was succeeded as Ambassador to China by Pradeep Kumar Rawat, a 1990 batch IFS officer, earlier this month.

The appointment of Rawat, who was serving as the Indian envoy to the Netherlands before being given this sensitive post, comes in the midst of the lingering eastern Ladakh border standoff.

For Rawat, who speaks fluent Mandarin and had earlier served in Hong Kong and Beijing, resolving the dispute that India and China have been engaged in for the last 20 months, will be the top priority.

The last Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) meeting took place in November this year.

After the meeting, both the countries agreed on the need to find an early resolution to the remaining disputes along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh, while fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols so as to restore peace and tranquillity.

"The two sides also agreed that both sides should, in the interim, also continue to ensure a stable ground situation and avoid any untoward incident," the External Affairs Ministry had said.

In the meantime, both the countries have made enhanced deployment even during winters to thwart any threat.

Indian troops are deployed at a height of around 17,000 feet along the borders and all logistics are in place. The force is ready to sustain the enhanced troop deployment in the harsh winter at friction points where temperatures will soon start dipping beyond minus 20 degrees.

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