New Delhi: The disengagement process between Indian and Chinese soldiers on both sides of Pangong Tso lake in eastern Ladakh has been completed, sources said on Friday. The pullback comes after a ten-month-long standoff between the two armies in eastern Ladakh.Also Read - Understanding China’s Disengagement At Pangong Tso And Why India Can’t Let The Guard Down
India and China reached an agreement on disengagement at the North and South banks of Pangong Tso lake and both sides decided to cease forward deployment of troops in a phased and coordinated manner. Also Read - 'Never Occupied an Inch of Other Country's Territory', Says China After Fresh Skirmishes at Pangong Tso
NEXT ROUND OF TALKS Also Read - India Thwarts China's Attempt to Transgress Near Pangong Tso Lake; Meeting in Progress at Chushul
The tenth round of talks between military commanders of India and China will be held on Saturday (February 20) to discuss disengagement at other friction points, sources said. The talks will start at 10 am at Moldo on the Chinese side.
In the next round of talks, the two sides will discuss the disengagement process at areas like Hot Springs, Gogra and 900 square km Depsang Plains.
The representatives during the tenth round of “corps commander level” meet will also check the status of disengagement at northern and southern banks of Pangong Lake.
DISENGAGEMENT DISCUSSION OF OTHER AREAS
The build-up in Depsang was not being considered part of the current standoff that started in May last year as escalations here took place in 2013, India has insisted during recent military commander meetings to resolve all issues across the Line of Actual Control.
“The initial attempt will be to resolve Gogra and Hot Springs. Finding a solution to Depsang might be tricky and take longer,” said an official.
WHAT DOES AGREEMENT OF PANGONG DISENGAGEMENT SAY
Indian Army team along with Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are physically verifying and re-verifying disengagement at Pangong Lake. “It is a joint inspection team, both from Indian Army and Chinese PLA,” said a senior government officer.
The agreement states that Chinese troops will move back to Finger 8 and Indian troops will pull back to the Dhan Singh Thapa post between Finger 2 and 3 of the north bank of Pangong Lake. Further, there would be a temporary moratorium on military activities, including patrolling to the traditional areas.
The mountain spur jutting into the lake is referred to as Finger in military parlance. The north bank of the lake is divided into 8 Fingers. Indian has claimed its territory till Finger 8 and China dispute it claims till Finger 4.
The confrontations between India and China began on the north bank of Pangong Lake, both in the waters and the bank as Chinese incursions increased in early May last year.
The confrontation later spilled over to the southern bank following which Indian Army occupied crucial heights irking the Chinese also leading to incidents of gun shots being fired in the air.
(With IANS inputs)