LAC disengagement to be 'phased, verifiable'; India to maintain troops at Dhan Singh Thapa Post: Rajnath Singh
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that the troops disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh will be conducted in a "phased manner", adding that India and China have agreed to withdraw troops at the earliest and "abide fully by the bilateral agreements and protocols".
Addressing the Lok Sabha over the India-China standoff, Rajnath assured the House that the talks have not "conceded anything", noting that there are still some outstanding issues with regard to deployment and patrolling at some other points along the LAC.
"The agreement that we have been able to reach with the Chinese side for disengagement in Pangong lake area envisages that both sides will cease their forward deployments in a phased, coordinated and verified manner," Rajnath said.
"Chinese side will keep its troop presence in the North Bank area to east of Finger 8. Indian troops will be based at their permanent base at Dhan Singh Thapa Post near Finger 3. Similar action would be taken in the South Bank area by both sides," Rajnath noted.
Lauding the Armed Forces for their bravery, Rajnath said that India has identified several strategic points in eastern Ladakh and has positioned troops there to counter any Chinese threat. He further said that India and China have maintained communication with each other through military and diplomatic channels to end the impasse.
Earlier in the day, Rajnath also addressed the Rajya Sabha over the India-China standoff, saying the two sides have reached an agreement on disengagement in the north and south bank of Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh.
Sharing details of the pact to defuse the tense military face-off in eastern Ladakh that severely strained ties between the two Asian giants, Singh also assured the Rajya Sabha that India has not conceded anything in the sustained talks with China. India will not allow even an inch of its territory to be taken by anyone, he said.
This came a day after China said the Chinese and Indian frontline troops at the southern and northern bank of the Pangong Tso started "synchronised and organised disengagement" from February 10 in accordance with the consensus reached by both sides at the ninth round of China-India Corps Commander- Level meeting. The ninth round was held on January 24 and it lasted for around 16 hours.
Both sides had rushed a large number of battle tanks, armoured vehicles and heavy equipment to the treacherous and high-altitude areas of eastern Ladakh region after tension escalated following a deadly clash in the Galwan Valley in June last.
Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the fierce hand-to-hand combat on June 15 in Galwan Valley, an incident that marked the most serious military conflicts between the two sides in decades.
China is yet to disclose the number of its soldiers killed and injured in the clash though it officially admitted to have suffered casualties. According to an American intelligence report, the number of casualties on the Chinese side was 35.
(With PTI inputs)
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma