Ladakh Standoff: With Rahul Gandhi onboard, Parliament panel to visit Galwan Valley, Pangong lake
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The 30-member Parliamentary standing committee on defence, which includes Congress' Rahul Gandhi and Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut, will visit Galwan Valley and Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh, days after India and China agreed to withdraw troops from the region.
The committee's decision to visit forward areas at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) comes a day after former Congress president Rahul Gandhi slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "spitting and betraying" the sacrifices of the brave soldiers of the Indian Army.
"We find our troops are now going to be stationed at Finger 3. Finger 4 is our territory. Now, we've moved from Finger 4 to Finger 3. Why has Mr Modi given up our territory to the Chinese," Gandhi had said.
Gandhi was speaking in response to Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh who on Thursday had said that India and China have reached on a disengagement agreement in the north and south banks of Pangong lake that mandates both sides to cease forward deployment of troops in a "phased, coordinated and verifiable" manner.
According to the agreement, China has to pull back its troops to the east of Finger 8 areas in the northern bank while the Indian personnel will be based at their permanent base at Dhan Singh Thapa Post near Finger 3 in the region.
Similar action will take place on the south bank of the lake as well, Singh said in Parliament.
India has not "conceded" any territory to China by firming up an agreement on the disengagement process in Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh, and other outstanding "problems" including in Depsang, Hot Springs ad Gogra will be taken up at the upcoming talks between military commanders of the two countries, the defence ministry said on Friday.
The statement by the ministry came hours after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged that the government has "ceded" Indian territory to China and raised questions over the agreement on the disengagement process.
The ministry also dubbed as "categorically false" the assertion that Indian territory is up to Finger 4 in the Pangong Tso area, adding the permanent posts of both sides in the area are "longstanding and well-established".
"India has not conceded any territory as a result of this agreement. On the contrary, it has enforced observance and respect for LAC and prevented any unilateral change in the status quo," the ministry said in the strongly-worded statement.
The MEA also said the two countries have agreed to convene the 10th round of senior commanders meeting within 48 hours after complete disengagement in the Pangong Lake area to address the remaining issues, and added that no date has been set for Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on India-China border affairs.
The agreement on disengagement in the north and south banks of Pangong lake mandates both Chinese and Indian sides to "cease" forward deployment of troops in a "phased, coordinated and verifiable" manner.
(With PTI inputs)
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma