Didn’t Concede Territory: Govt on ‘Misleading’ Remarks on Pangong
“The assertion that Indian territory is upto Finger 4 is categorically false,” the Defence Ministry said.
India has not conceded any territory as a result of the agreement with China, and has instead enforced observance and respect for the LAC and prevented any unilateral change in the status quo, the Defence Ministry said in a statement on Friday, 12 February.
The statement was in response to some "misinformed and misleading comments" in the media and on social media, regarding the disengagement process at Pangong Tso.
Detailing the demarcation of Indian territory and the LAC, the ministry said, "The assertion that Indian territory is upto Finger 4 is categorically false. The territory of India is as depicted by the map of India and includes more than 43,000 sq km currently under illegal occupation of China since 1962. Even the Line of Actual Control (LAC), as per the Indian perception, is at Finger 8, not at Finger 4. That is why India has persistently maintained the right to patrol upto Finger 8, including in the current understanding with China."
‘Outstanding Issues to be Taken Up Within 48 Hrs of Completing Pangong Disengagement’
Permanent posts of both sides at Pangong Tso's north bank – Dhan Singh Thapa Post near Finger 3 for India and east of Finger 8 for China – are longstanding and well-established, the government statement further said, adding that the present agreement provides for "cessation of forward deployment by both sides and continued deployment at these permanent posts."
On the outstanding problems left to be addressed over the LAC standoff, including those at Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang, the ministry said they will be taken up “within 48 hours of the completion of the Pangong Tso disengagement.”
At a press briefing later on Friday, MEA spokeserson Anurag Srivastava was quoted as saying, "The two sides have also agreed to convene the 10th round of senior commanders’ meeting within 48 hours after complete disengagement in the Pangong lake area, to address the remaining issues. No date has been set so far for the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on India-China border affairs’ meeting."
What Rajnath Singh Had Said
Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had said, "I want to assure this House that in these talks (between India and China) we have not conceded anything.”
“The agreement that we have been able to reach with the Chinese side for disengagement in Pangong lake area envisages that both sides will cease their forward deployments in a phased, coordinated and verified manner,” Singh was quoted as saying in the Lower House.
“Chinese side will keep its troop presence in the north bank area to east of Finger 8. Indian troops will be based at their permanent base at Dhan Singh Thapa Post near Finger 3. Similar action would be taken in the south bank area by both sides,” he added.
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