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Pre-Galwan Status-quo Still An Aspiration: Congress On Rajnath's India-China LAC Statement

Reacting to Defence Minister's statement in Rajya Sabha, Congress leader Manish Tewari has said that "status-quo pre-April 2020 still remains an aspiration."

Rajnath Singh

Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh in Rajya Sabha on Thursday said that India and China have reached an agreement on disengagement of troops from the north and south banks of the Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh. He assured the House that India has not conceded anything while entering into the disengagement process.

'Status quo pre-April 2020 still an aspiration'

Reacting to the statement, Congress leader Manish Tewari has said that "status-quo pre-April 2020 still remains an aspiration." He said that other transgression points like Depsang, Gogra, Hot Springs, Naku-La etc remain under discussion even though there is "verifiable disengagement" on North and South bank of Pangong-Tso lake." 

Another Congress leader Jaiveer Shergill took a dig at PM Modi and said that the government has come out of "denial mode" and noted China transgression contrary to PM's "na koi ghusa tha, hai or payega" claim. In a tweet, Shergill said that true victory will be status quo ante restoration and India not conceding any patrolling area. 

In the corps commander meetings between the two sides, India has sought the “status quo as of April” in eastern Ladakh and a pullback of Chinese build-up at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). As Rajnath Singh informed the Parliament, both the sides will meet and solve the remaining issues.

Rajnath Singh said the agreement reached with the Chinese side for disengagement in the Pangong lake area envisages that both sides will cease their forward deployments in a phased, coordinated and verified manner. "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," he said. 

"A similar action would be taken in the South Bank area by both sides. These are mutual and reciprocal steps and any structures that had been built by both sides since April 2020 in both North and South Bank area will be removed," Singh said. Indian and Chinese militaries were locked in a bitter standoff in eastern Ladakh for over nine months. 

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Meanwhile, while reporting that the frontline troops of China and India at the south and north banks of the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh have started disengagement, Russian news agency TASS has claimed that Beijing lost 45 soldiers in the Galwan Valley clash last year.

READ | China lost 45 soldiers during Galwan Valley clash with India at LAC: Russian news agency

According to a TASS report, "Chinese and Indian forces clashed in the region in May and June 2020, resulting in at least 20 Indian and 45 Chinese servicemen dead. Following these incidents, New Delhi and Beijing increased the concentration of forces in the region to about 50,000 people each."

This revelation by the Russian news agency comes even as China has remained silent on the number of casualties it suffered during the deadly clashes. According to an American intelligence report, the number of casualties on the Chinese side was 35.

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