China today claimed that Indian and Chinese troops have begun simultaneous disengagement at Pangong Lake as part of the consensus reached between the two countries at the 9th round of military commanders’ talks held last month.
There was no immediate confirmation of the Chinese claim by the Indian side, but news agency PTI quoted people familiar with the development as saying both sides are in the process of pulling back their armoured units like tanks and armoured personnel carriers. If it proves correct, the development could end nearly ten months of military standoff along the Pangong Tso lake area, one of the sticking points between the two countries.
The 9th round of talks between the senior military commanders was held on 24 January. After the marathon 16-hour-long meeting, the two countries issued a joint statement in which they said they have agreed to push for an early disengagement of frontline troops at disputed border areas across the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
According to PTI, “authoritative sources” in the Indian defence and military establishment did not refute the Chinese defence ministry’s statement on the developments on the northern and southern banks of Pangong lake, an area that witnessed major face-offs since the row erupted on May 5.
The office of defence minister Rajnath Singh, meanwhile, tweeted that he will make a statement in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday on the situation in eastern Ladakh. “Raksha Mantri Shri @rajnathsingh will make a statement in Rajya Sabha tomorrow regarding ‘Present Situation in Eastern Ladakh’,” it said.
~With inputs from PTI~