Following a breakthrough in the ninth round of military commander-level talks, Indian and Chinese troops along the border in Ladakh initiated the process of disengagement on Wednesday, Chinese media has said.
Chinese media, quoting that country’s defence ministry spokesperson Colonel Wu Qian, reported that troops of both countries stationed at the northern and southern shores of Pangong Lake in Ladakh began disengagement according to the consensus reached during the talks.
Sources gave confirmation to CNN-News18 that disengagement of troops began in the two banks today. The process will take place in phases and will be verified at every step, they said, adding that troops will be disengaged first in the lake’s north bank and then the south bank. Tanks are being moved out of the south bank, and the strength of Indian troops deployed there will also be reduced, they said.
“First the armoured component will be moved out, then the troops at the rear will be thinned out. We continue to hold strategic heights. Frontline troops will not be disengaged at the moment. We are looking at early days and a long road ahead,” sources said.
The Central government, referring to the friction along the LAC with China, said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha, “Government will continue discussions with the Chinese side to achieve the objective of disengagement from all friction points and restoration of peace and tranquility in the India-China Border Areas at an early date.”
Nearly 50,000 Indian Army troops are currently deployed in a high state of combat readiness in eastern Ladakh. Multiple rounds of talks between the two sides had so far not yielded any concrete outcome to resolve the standoff. China has also deployed an equal number of troops, according to officials. The standoff between the two sides erupted in early May.
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