India, China agree to disengage along Pangong Lake: Rajnath Singh
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday informed the Parliament that India and China will remove forward deployments along the Pangong Lake in Eastern Ladakh in a phased manner. Speaking in Rajya Sabha over the tensions with the neighboring country, he revealed that sustained dialogue with Beijing bore fruits and both nations have agreed to disengage in the highly-volatile area. Here's more on this.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader informed that India didn't accept the unjustified demands of Beijing and hasn't lost even an inch of its territory. "I want to assure this House that we have not lost anything. Both sides will withdraw forward deployments in a phased, verified manner," he added. He said he is proud that Indian forces bravely faced challenges at the border.
"China occupied 38,000 sq km after 1962 war and 5,180 sq km was given illegally by Pakistan to China in Ladakh. On the Arunachal Pradesh border, China claims 90,000 sq km of Indian land. India has not accepted these unjustified demands," Singh went on.
To recall, China's misadventures began early last year and ended in a bloodbath in mid-June when soldiers from its People's Liberation Army (PLA) attacked Indian personnel in the Galwan Valley. India lost 20 soldiers in the clash, the first time blood was spilled along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in decades. A comparable number of PLA soldiers died but China never acknowledged it.
Referring to talks with China, both at military and diplomatic levels, Singh said India explained it wouldn't compromise on three principles. "First, both parties must agree on LAC and respect it. Secondly, there shouldn't be an attempt to change the status unilaterally, by any party. Thirdly, all the compromises should be completely agreed upon by both parties," he told the House.
Now, China will restrict its troops to the east of Finger 8 in the Northern bank of Pangong Lake. India, on the other hand, will keep its soldiers near Finger 3, at the Dhan Singh Thapa Post. Singh apprised the House that any structures constructed by Indian and Chinese sides since April 2020 will be removed and landforms will be restored.
Both nations have also agreed to temporarily suspend all military activities, including patrolling, in the Northern bank of Pangong Lake. Forty-eight hours after the complete disengagement in the area, senior commanders from both sides will have a meeting, Singh told the Parliament. He revealed that disengagement started yesterday in Northern and Southern banks and would soon "substantially restore" the earlier situation.