India, China Agree On A Three-Step Disengagement Plan At Pangong Lake Area; Details Inside

India, China Agree On A Three-Step Disengagement Plan At Pangong Lake Area; Details InsidePangong Lake, Ladakh

In a positive development, the ongoing border standoff between India and China looks set to be resolved soon as the armies of both the countries have agreed to disengage and move back to their respective positions before the April-May timeframe, ANI reports.

Both the sides discussed this disengagement plan on 6 November during the 8th Corps Commander-level talks held in Chishul. External Affairs Ministry’s Joint Secretary Naveen Shrivastava and Brigadier Ghai of Directorate General of Military Operations took part in the meeting. The disengagement process will be implemented in three steps over the next week.

Firstly, the tanks and armoured personnel carriers from both the sides are supposed to be shifted from their frontline deployment to a significant distance from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) within a day of the discussions.

The second step is slated to be carried out in the northern bank of the Pangong Lake. The two armies are required to withdraw around 30 per cent of their troops on a daily basis for three days. Thus, the Indian Army will now be positioned close to its administrative Dhan Singh Thapa post. Their Chinese counterparts will move to their position to the east of Finger 8.

Finally, the third step includes the two sides withdrawing from their respective positions from the frontline along the southern bank of Pangong Lake area that includes the heights and territories around Rezang La and Chushul area.

Both countries have agreed to set up a joint mechanism that will verify the progress of this disengagement process. Meetings will be conducted between delegations and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) will be used for the same. However, the Indian side is proceeding very cautiously in this exercise due to the trust issues that have arisen post the clash that took place at Galwan valley in June this year.

Notably, nearly 50,000 Indian Army troops are currently stationed in a high state of combat readiness in various mountainous locations in eastern Ladakh in sub-zero conditions as multiple rounds of talks between the two sides have not yielded concrete outcome to resolve the standoff. China too has deployed an equal number of troops at the border area, as per the officials.