Amid the ongoing standoff with China at the Ladakh border area, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh made a statement in Rajya Sabha regarding the ‘present situation in Eastern Ladakh’
On February 11, Rajnath Singh informed the Parliament that India and China have agreed to disengagement on the northern and southern banks of the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh as both the sides have been locked in a stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the region since May 2020.
Rajnath Singh said, “Our sustained talks with China have led to agreement on disengagement on the north and south banks of Pangong Lake. After this agreement, India-China will remove forward deployments in a phased, coordinated manner.”
Singh while speaking in the Rajya Sabha said that some issues are yet to be resolved regarding deployment at the LAC until then patrolling in Finger area of Pangong suspended till a further decision is taken by military commanders based on diplomatic talks
He said that bilateral relations between the two countries can only develop, and the border dispute can only be resolved, through dialogue.
“China has positioned heavy artillery and a large number of soldiers along the LAC. Our forces have also adequately and effectively done counter deployments,” Singh reiterated, adding that Indian forces continue to be positioned along the border despite harsh weather conditions.
The defence minister informed the Upper House that India has asked China to accept and respect the LAC, not take any steps to unilaterally change the status quo at the border and follow the rules of engagement.
This came a day after the Chinese defence ministry announced that frontline soldiers from India and China at the southern and northern banks of the Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh had started synchronised and organised disengagement from February 10.
“This move is in accordance with the consensus reached by both sides at the 9th round of China-India Corps Commander Level Meeting,” Chinese Ministry of National Defence’s Spokesperson Senior Colonel Wu Qian had said in the statement. India had not immediately commented on the matter.