India-China row: Pangong disengagement complete; next round of talks tomorrow
The disengagement process between the Indian and Chinese forces in the Pangong Tso area of eastern Ladakh has reportedly been completed. The two neighbors will hold the 10th round of talks to discuss further disengagement on Saturday. Tensions between India and China have remained high since their forces faced off near the Pangong Tso along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) last May.
People familiar with the developments told Hindustan Times that the Pangong Lake disengagement took place on strategic heights on both banks of the lake. Both armies withdrew their frontline troops, tanks, infantry combat vehicles, and artillery guns. Reportedly, military structures erected after April 2020 in the Pangong Tso sector were also removed. The disengagement process had started on February 10.
The 10th round of Indo-China talks between corps commander-ranked officers are reportedly expected to begin at 10 am on Saturday at Moldo. Saturday's talks will focus on disengagement at other friction points in eastern Ladakh: Depsang, Hot Springs, and Gogra. Outstanding issues related to deployment and patrolling at the three friction points would be taken up within 48 hours of the Pangong Tso withdrawal.
Tensions along the Indo-China border intensified after clashes between the two forces at various locations in early-May last year. The series of escalations included a fatal clash that erupted in the Galwan Valley on June 15, 2020, which led to the martyrdom of 20 Indian Army soldiers and a disputed number of Chinese fatalities. Both sides have blamed each other for escalating the conflict.
Last month, the Indian Army had confirmed that India and China had clashed along the LAC in Sikkim. The Army had said that it was a "minor face-off" with "insignificant and minor injuries," adding that tensions were "resolved by local commanders as per established protocols."