New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In what could end the nine-month-long standoff across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, India and China have completed the disengagement process along the Southern and Northern bank of Pangong lake.

Quoting sources, news agency ANI reported that the Indian Army has moved to their "depth locations" after the disengagement of troops in Pangong lake.

"In the corps commander level talks on Saturday between the armies of China and India, the two sides would discuss disengagement from three friction points in Eastern Ladakh including Gogra, Hot Springs and Depsang plains," Army sources were quoted by ANI as saying.

This comes hours after China admitted that five of its soldiers -- Qi Fabao, Chen Hongjun, Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan and Wang Zhuoran -- were killed in the deadly Galwan Valley clash in June last year.

On February 11, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told Parliament about an agreement between India and China on disengagement in the north and south banks of Pangong lake that mandated both sides to "cease" forward deployment of troops in a "phased, coordinated and verifiable" manner.

Under the agreement, he said China will pull back its troops to east of Finger 8 areas in the northern bank of Pangong lake while the Indian personnel will be based at their permanent base at Dhan Singh Thapa Post near Finger 3 in the region.

The Indian delegation at Saturday's talks will be led by Lt General PGK Menon, the Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps while the Chinese side is expected to be headed by Maj Gen Liu Lin, the commander of the South Xinjiang military district of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

In his statement in Parliament, the defence minister also said that it was agreed to convene the next meeting of senior commanders of both sides within 48 hours of completion of the disengagement in the Pangong lake areas so as to resolve all other remaining issues.

Days later, the defence ministry said other outstanding "problems" including in Depsang, Hot Springs and Gogra will be taken up at the upcoming talks between military commanders of the two countries.

The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5 following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry even as the two sides continued military and diplomatic talks.

Last year, the Chinese military built several bunkers and other structures in the areas between Finger 4 and 8 and had blocked all Indian patrols beyond Finger 4, triggering strong reaction from the Indian Army.

(With agency inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma