Both forces start disengagement as per Sino-India Pact on Pangong Tso Lake
Next meeting of Senior Commanders of the two armies within 48 hours after complete disengagement in Pangong lake areas to resolve any remaining issues
Further to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s address in the Parliament both forces have started moving back in eastern Ladakh as part of the new Sino-India Pact.
Under the agreement on the disengagement process, the Chinese Army will pull back its troops east of Finger 8 areas on the northern bank of Pangong Tso Lake. Reciprocally, the Indian troops will also come back to Dhan Singh Thapa post near Finger 3 areas.
A pact which is being much acclaimed as a significant step to reduce tensions in the face-off site seems to have started off with both sides adhering to the steps to be taken as per plan in sync matching each other’s roll back.
This move will effectively bring the areas between Finger 3 and Finger 8 a no patrolling zone till a resolution is reached. The mountain spurs in the area are referred to as Fingers.
Earlier the Chinese military had built several bunkers and other structures in the areas between Finger 4 and 8 and had blocked all Indian patrols beyond Finger 4, which resulted in a strong reaction from the Indian Army.
Similar action would also be taken on the south bank of the Pangong lake areas by both sides. Around five months ago, Indian troops occupied a number of strategic heights in the Mukhpari, Rechin La and Magar hill areas around the southern bank after the Chinese military went on an offensive.
"Patrolling will be resumed only when both sides reach an agreement in diplomatic and military talks that would be held subsequently,” said Singh and added it was also agreed to hold the next meeting of Senior Commanders of the two armies within 48 hours after complete disengagement in Pangong lake areas to resolve any remaining issues.
In addition, the Chinese side had mobilised a large number of troops and armaments along the LAC as well as in the depth areas. The Indian armed forces too followed suit and made adequate and effective counter deployments in these areas to ensure the country’s security interests were fully protected.
The defence minister said three key principles determined India's approach in handling the situation which are "the both sides should strictly respect and observe the LAC, neither side should attempt to alter the status quo unilaterally, and all agreements and understandings between the two sides must be fully abided by in their entirety."
Singh also said that India has resolutely stood by its consistent stand that while bilateral ties can develop in parallel with discussions on resolving the boundary issue, any serious disturbance in peace and tranquillity along the LAC is bound to have ‘adverse implications’ in the overall relationship.