India and China have reached an agreement on disengagement of troops from the north and south banks of the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in Rajya Sabha today.
Under the agreement, Singh said both sides will cease their forward deployments in a phased, coordinated and verified manner in these areas.
The defence minister assured the House that India has not conceded anything while entering into the disengagement process, adding there are “some outstanding issues” with regard to deployment and patrolling at some other points along the LAC in eastern Ladakh.
“I am happy to inform the House today that as a result of our well thought out approach and sustained talks with the Chinese side, we have now been able to reach an agreement on disengagement in the North and South Bank of the Pangong Lake.
“It has also been agreed to convene the next meeting of the senior commanders within 48 hours after the complete disengagement in the Pangong Lake area so as to address and resolve all other remaining issues,” he said.
Singh said the agreement reached with the Chinese side for disengagement in the Pangong lake area envisages that both sides will cease their forward deployments in a phased, coordinated and verified manner.
“The Chinese side will keep its troop presence in the North Bank area to east of Finger 8. Reciprocally, the Indian troops will be based at their permanent base at Dhan Singh Thapa Post near Finger 3,” he said.
“A similar action would be taken in the South Bank area by both sides. These are mutual and reciprocal steps and any structures that had been built by both sides since April 2020 in both North and South Bank area will be removed,” Singh said.
While addressing the parliament Rajnath Singh said that several friction points have come up in eastern Ladakh and China has made the huge accumulation of arms and ammunition close to the LAC and in their side, while India has ensured adequate, effective, and counter deployment in eastern Ladakh.
“Indian Army has strongly faced all the challenges and displayed their courage at Pangong Lake and ensured their presence at high altitude place there,” he said. “Not only at the high altitude mountains but the Army with the amount of commitment and courage have ensured the safeguard of Indian Territory and that’s why our edge is maintained.”
“Our armed forces have again proven that they’re ready to face come may what and challenges to protect the integrity and severity of India”, Defence Minister said while praising armed forces.
During the round of talks with China “We have demanded solution on three points that include both sides must accept the LAC and regard that, no side can unilaterally attempt to change the status quo and all that decision must be adhered to fully.”
“The forward deployment must come back from both sides to their places taking a step towards disengagement and our strategy and approach is under the directions of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi who has maintained that not an inch of Indian territory will be given away to anyone,” he said in the house while briefing about the situation in eastern Ladakh that is in around the Pangong Lake. ( PTI )