NEW DELHI: The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has moved back the Artillery Guns and has brought down structures from the North Bank of the Pangong Tso. Indian Army officers are optimistic that the disengagement process is expected to get completed by June 20.
“The structures like the bunkers and shades have been dismantled and the Artillery Guns have been moved east of Finger 8. Also, the posts created on the South Bank have been removed and the armoured vehicles (Tanks and the Infantry Combat Vehicle) have been moved back”, told a senior Army officer. It is a phased disengagement beginning with the armoured vehicles, artillery and Infantry soldiers to be moved in the last phase.
Evincing hopes the officer said that the process is continuing from both sides and we are expecting that the process will get completed by February 20.
The major announcement of an agreement on disengagement of the forces from standoff position at the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh came on February 11 as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced the development in the Rajya Sabha.
Indian and Chinese military began disengagement at Pangong on February 10 and it is being done in a “phased, coordinated and verified manner” restoring the situation that was before the commencement of standoff last year, said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Upper House.
Addressing the members Rajnath Singh said, “The Chinese side will keep its troop presence in the North Bank area to the east of Finger 8. Reciprocally, the Indian troops will be based at their permanent base at Dhan Singh Thapa Post near Finger 3.” A similar action would be taken in the South Bank area by both sides, he said. Landforms have to be restored to April 2020 position.
Talking about the details of the agreements with China Defence Minister said, “It has also been agreed to have a temporary moratorium on military activities by both sides in the North Bank, including patrolling to the traditional areas. Patrolling will be resumed only when both sides reach an agreement in diplomatic and military talks that would be held subsequently.”
Deployment and patrolling at other standoff points will be discussed subsequently.
The standoff in the Eastern Ladakh started in the first week of May month last year from Finger 4 as the Chinese and Indian troops had clashed. Subsequently it had spread to several standoff points along the LAC ahead of the LAC in the North and South banks of the Pangong Tso.
Apart from the Finger Areas in the North Bank, Gogra-Hot Spring, Galwan, Depsang have been the other sites of standoff and Chushul Sector in the South Bank side of the Pangong lake.
As per the agreement the next meeting of the Senior Commanders will be convened within 48 hours after the complete disengagement in the Pangong Lake area so as to address and resolve all other remaining issues.