India did not concede anything * There are still some outstanding issues regarding deployment, patrolling at some points along LAC
New Delhi: Making a statement on the ground situation in Eastern Ladakh in the Lok Sabha, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday assured the House that the country has not lost anything in the talks and some issues related to the deployment and patrolling in some areas on the Line of Actual Control were still pending and will be given special attention in further talks.
‘I want to assure this House that in these talks, we have not conceded anything. The House should also know that there are still some outstanding issues with regard to deployment and patrolling at some other points along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh,’ the Defence Minister said.
Singh further said that these points will be the focus of further discussions with the Chinese side.
The Defence Minister informed the House that a major breakthrough has been achieved between India and China in eastern Ladakh with both the sides initiating disengagement of troops from the southern and northern sides of Lake Pangong on a mutual agreement basis.
He said, ‘We have agreed that both sides should achieve complete disengagement at the earliest and abide fully by the bilateral agreements and protocols. By now, the Chinese side is also fully aware of our resolve.”
“India has strongly put across the message to China that it would not allow anyone to take even an inch of its land and that our defence forces have been firmly protecting the sovereignty, unity and integrity of the country along the Line of Actual Control (LAC),” he added.
Elaborating on details of the agreement, he said, “I am happy to tell the House that as a result of our stand and continuous dialogue with China on the withdrawal of troops from the north and south sides of Lake Pangong, an agreement has been arrived.”
“According to this agreement, both sides will remove the troops deployed on the advance fronts in a phased, coordinated and calibrated manner,’ he added.
The Defence Minister said that the next round of talks between the military commanders of the two nations will take place on Friday.
During his statement, he also mentioned how China amassed troops in Eastern Ladakh in April 2020 and transgressed and were given a befitting reply by Indian forces. “Our 20 soldiers laid down their lives in protecting the sovereignty of the country and how both sides established military and diplomatic contacts, keeping with our efforts to restore peace and tranquility.”