Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said India and China have agreed on disengaging at the North and South Bank of the Pangong Lake in Ladakh and troops of both sides will remove the deployment.
“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,” Rajnath said in Parliament.
“The agreement that we have been able to reach 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,” Singh added.
The Defence Minister 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 and the landforms will be restored.”
“It has also been agreed to have a temporary moratorium on military activities by both sides in the North Bank, including patrolling to the traditional areas. Patrolling will be resumed only when both sides reach an agreement in diplomatic and military talks that would be held subsequently. The implementation of this agreement started yesterday in the North and South Bank of the Pangong Lake. It will substantially restore the situation to that existing prior to commencement of the standoff last year,” he added.
“These will be the focus of further discussions with the Chinese side. We have agreed that both sides should achieve complete disengagement at the earliest and abide fully by the bilateral agreements and protocols. By now, the Chinese side is also fully aware of our resolve. It is therefore our expectation that the Chinese side will work with us in full sincerity to resolve these remaining issues,” the Defence Minister said.