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.
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."
-@rajnathsingh in essence.We are btwn a rock & a hard place.Verifiable disengagement on North & South Bank of Pangsang-Tso lake. Other transgression points-Depsang, Gogra, Hot Springs , Naku -La Upper Subansri remain under discussion.Status-quo pre April 2020 still an aspiration.— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) February 11, 2021
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.
Finally, BJP Govt has come out of denial mode & noted China transgression contrary to PM’s “na koi ghusa tha,hai or payega”claim.True victory will b status quo ante restoration & India not conceding any patrolling area. Both the God & Devil lie in ground reality of deescalation.— Jaiveer Shergill (@JaiveerShergill) February 11, 2021
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.
मैं आश्वस्त हूँ कि यह पूरा सदन, चाहे कोई किसी भी दल का क्यों न हो, देश की संप्रभुता, एकता, अखंडता और सुरक्षा के प्रश्न पर एक साथ खड़ा है और एक स्वर से समर्थन करता है कि यही सन्देश केवल भारत की सीमा तक ही सीमित नहीं रहेगा बल्कि पूरे जगत को जायेगा: रक्षा मंत्री श्री @rajnathsingh— रक्षा मंत्री कार्यालय/ RMO India (@DefenceMinIndia) February 11, 2021
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.
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.