Another Corp Commander-level meet between India and China is likely in the coming days to ensure disengagement at Pangong Lake along the LAC in eastern Ladakh.
File photo of an Indian Army truck crossing Chang La pass near Pangong Lake in Ladakh (Photo Credits: AP)
Following initial disengagement at three flashpoints in eastern Ladakh, the Chinese and Indian armies have now mutually pulled back in the Pangong Lake area.
Sources told India Today that while People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops moved from Finger 4 to 5, soldiers of the Indian Army also took a step backward towards Finger 3.
“Like in other places, the retreat is mutual to ensure disengagement,” an official privy to the developments said. The official added that Finger 4 in Pangong will be a ‘no patrolling zone’ for the time being.
Another Corp Commander-level meet between India and China is likely in the coming days to review steps taken for disengagement and the way forward for complete de-escalation at Pangong Lake. Three rounds of Corps Commander level talks have taken place until now.
In the previous meeting on June 30, a roadmap was prepared for mutual disengagement and a 72 hour verification period was agreed upon from the time field commanders decided to move back. During this period, both armies could verify the pullback on either side.
India claims the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at Finger 8 and had moved 8 km further till Finger 4 with heavy mobilisation. The Chinese were camping at Finger 4, setting up bunkers and observation posts between fingers 4 and 8, a distance of about 8 km. India has always been in control of Finger 4 and Indian patrols were stopped from moving towards Finger 5.
The initial disengagement in Ladakh along the LAC was achieved earlier on Thursday at three flashpoints – Galwan, Hot Springs and Gogra. With this development, Indian and Chinese troops who were only a few metres away earlier are now at a distance of at least 2 km.
Since Wednesday, reports of thinning of troops at Pangong Lake have been coming to light.
The focus is now on disengagement at Pangong Lake, the most crucial flashpoint along the LAC in eastern Ladakh.
Further dialogue is expected both at military and diplomatic levels to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution and to ensure peace and tranquility along the LAC as per bilateral agreements and protocols.