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Confrontation in Ladakh: ‘Disengagement a little earlier than planned in some LAC positions’ | India News

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NEW DELHI: India is monitoring the ongoing mutual disconnect between Indian and Chinese soldiers in the Pangong Tso area of ​​eastern Ladakh, comparing it to the gradual setback specified in the written agreement signed between the two countries last week.
“The disconnection on both sides of Pangong Tso is progressing well so far… it is a little ahead of schedule in some positions. The effort is to complete this Phase I disconnection before February 20, “said a senior official on Sunday.
India insisted on a written pact for Pangong Tso’s withdrawal, which was approved by the country’s high-powered China Study Group just before the actual pushback began on February 10, due to the continuing confidence deficit with China.
“The formal agreement details the exact steps that each side will take for the complete disconnection of Phase I. Each step is being verified both physically on the ground and by electronic surveillance via drones, including quadcopters and satellites,” said the official.
Within 48 hours of the completion of the Pangong Tso withdrawal, India and China will hold the 10th round of corps commander-level talks to focus on the strategically located Depsang Plains, as well as the continuing ‘points of friction ‘like Gogra and Hot Springs. “Patrol Points 15 and 17 in Hot Springs and Gogra are unlikely to represent a major problem. They are relatively fewer soldiers in a head-to-head confrontation there. But Depsang, where the two sides have accumulated infantry brigades and tank regiments, it will be quite difficult, ”said another officer.
TOI had reported last week that some in the defense establishment feel that India should have used the bargaining influence provided by the occupation of the heights of the Kailash mountain range for negotiations on the Depsang mess, rather than wasting it just to the Pangong separation pact. But the government says Depsang is an old and persistent problem that needs to be addressed separately.
Under the current disengagement pact, both armies have already withdrawn their tanks, howitzers and other heavy weapons from the southern shore of the Pangong Tso-Kailash range in the Chushul sector. Now, there is a thinning of rival troops at different stages.
Indian troops had proactively taken six to seven tactical heights on the ridge line, which stretched from Thakung to Gurung Hill, Spanggur Gap, Magar Hill, Mukhpari, Rezang La and Reqin La (Rechin mountain pass) , at the end of August.
In the fight for the heights along the Royal Line of Control, which also saw at least four warning fire exchange incidents, the Chinese troops had also taken on a couple of features like Helmet Top and Yellow Bump. These heights in LAC had been left unoccupied since the 1962 war due to mutual understanding, as previously reported by TOI.
On the north shore of Pangong Lake, which is now frozen, Indian soldiers are now retreating west in phases to their Dhan Singh Thapa post between finger 2 and finger 3 (mountain spurs). The PLA troops, in turn, are retreating to their former positions east of Finger 8 in Sirijap.
The 10 km stretch between Finger 3 and Finger 8 will be designated as a temporary “no-patrol area” until the two sides reach an agreement in subsequent diplomatic and military talks.
“Under the pact, the PLA also has to demolish the multiple fortifications, bunkers and pillboxes it built after occupying the 8 km stretch between Finger 4 and Finger 8 in early May. This will take a little time, ”said one officer.

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