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India and China agree to disconnect on the north and south banks of Lake Pangong | India News

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NEW DELHI: An agreement has been reached with China on the disengagement on the north and south shores of Lake Pangong in Ladakh, as part of which Indian and Chinese troops will cease their advanced deployments in the region in a staggered, coordinated and verified manner. Informing Rajya Sabha of the terms of understanding reached after a sustained military and diplomatic engagement with the Chinese side, Singh said the de-escalation, which comes almost 10 months since the neighbor accumulated a large number of troops and weapons in the border areas adjacent to the east. Ladakh will see the presence of Chinese troops in the restricted North Bank area east of Finger 8, while Indian troops will be based on their permanent base at the Dhan Singh Thapa post on Finger 3.
Similar action would be taken in the South Bank area. Singh added that according to the agreement reached with the Chinese side after a sustained military and diplomatic engagement, any structures built by both sides since April 2020 in the North and South Bank areas will be removed and the landforms restored. A temporary moratorium on both sides’ military activities in North Bank, including suspension of patrols in traditional areas, has also been agreed. “The patrols will be resumed only when both parties reach an agreement in the diplomatic and military talks to be held later. The implementation of this agreement began yesterday on the north and south shores of Pangong Lake. It will substantially restore the situation to that which existed before the confrontation began last year, ”the minister said in a suo motu statement.
It was also agreed to convene the next senior commanders meeting within 48 hours after the complete shutdown in the Pangong Lake area to address and resolve all other outstanding issues.
“I want to assure this House that in these talks we have not conceded anything,” the minister said, adding that there are some outstanding issues regarding deployment and patrolling at some other points throughout LAC in eastern Ladakh. “These will be the focus of future discussions with the Chinese side. We have agreed that both parties must achieve complete disengagement as soon as possible and fully respect bilateral agreements and protocols. By now, the Chinese side is also fully aware of our determination. Therefore, we hope that the Chinese side will work with us in full sincerity to resolve these remaining issues, ”he stated.
Since September 2020, based on political guidance, military and diplomatic officials from both sides have met several times to find a mutually acceptable solution to the disengagement. To date, there have been 9 rounds of meetings of the senior commanders from both sides. Diplomatic talks have continued in parallel within the framework of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Issues (WMCC).
“Our approach and strategy for negotiations with the Chinese side has been guided at the highest level by the determination of the Honorable Prime Minister that we will not give up an inch of Indian territory. Our tenacity and focus during the talks have paid off, ”said Singh al Rajya Sabha.
According to Singh, the Indian approach to engagement with China on the issue maintained three key principles: that both sides must strictly respect and observe LAC; neither party should attempt to unilaterally alter the status quo; and all agreements and understandings between the two parties must be fully complied with in their entirety. “To ensure disconnection at friction points throughout LAC, we believe that troops from both sides, who are now very close, should vacate the advanced deployments made in 2020 and return to permanent and accepted bases,” he added.
In addition to having accumulated a large number of troops and weaponry in the border areas adjacent to eastern Ladakh from April-May 2020, the Chinese side had also made several attempts to transgress the LAC in various places. “These actions by the Chinese side had been detected and adequately responded to by our armed forces. The House and the Nation also paid tribute to the brave Indian soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice and gave their lives for the cause of defending the territorial integrity of India, ”said the minister.
“Our armed forces had also carried out adequate and effective counter-deployments in these areas to ensure that India’s security interests were fully protected. I am proud to say that our Armed Forces have responded to the challenges posed by Chinese unilateral action and have shown courage and bravery on both the southern and northern banks of Pangong Tso. Many strategically important points were identified and our troops positioned themselves on those peaks and in places that were very important from our point of view. It is because of this great courage of our Armed Forces in the face of harsh adverse weather conditions that we maintained the advantage. Our Armed Forces demonstrated once again that the territorial integrity of our country remains safe in their hands and that their determination and determination to safeguard our borders is unwavering, ”said Singh.
Stating that the actions of the Chinese side since last year had seriously disturbed the peace and tranquility and also affected the overall relationship, Singh said that during various interactions with the Chinese side, including at the level of the defense minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and National Security. advisor – it became clear that the main need was to ensure disconnection at all sticking points throughout LAC in the western sector to help restore peace and tranquility.
To recap the situation on the ground, Singh China had illegally occupied approximately 38,000 square kilometers in the Ladakh Union Territory, mainly during the 1962 conflict. Furthermore, under the 1963 Sino-Pakistani “boundary agreement”, Pakistan illegally ceded 5,180 square kilometers of Indian territory in Pakistani-occupied Kashmir to China. “China, therefore, is in the illegal occupation of more than 43,000 square kilometers of Indian territory. It also claims approximately 90,000 square kilometers of Indian territory in the eastern sector of the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh, “he said, adding that” India has never accepted this illegal occupation of our territory or the unjustified claims. ”
“India has consistently maintained that while bilateral relations may develop in parallel with discussions on the resolution of the border issue, any serious disturbance of peace and tranquility throughout LAC in the border areas will surely have adverse implications for the leadership. of our bilateral relations. The Chinese side knows our position well. In fact, several high-level joint statements have recognized this point that the maintenance of peace and tranquility throughout LAC in border areas is a fundamental premise for the development of relations, ”he said.
“I am confident that this entire House, regardless of political affiliations, is united to defend our sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity, and national security. And furthermore, this House is one to send the same message that demonstrates the strength and unity of our nation to the entire world, “he said. Although some members of the opposition seats, including Congressmen AK Antony and Jairam Ramesh, asked for clarification on the defense minister’s statement, President Venkaiah Naidu did not allow the same, as further discussion on the Budget was already scheduled.

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