The longstanding dispute between India and China may be over soon, as armies of both the countries have agreed to disengage from positions in eastern Ladakh and go back to posts they were manning before April this year, ANI reported.
According to the report, during the eighth round of military-level talks between both the armies on November 6, it was decided that disengagement of tanks and armoured personnel carriers was to be carried out within a day (of the discussion).
Both the sides have also reached a consensus to withdraw around 30 per cent of troops every day for three days, near the northern bank of the Pangong Tso Lake. While Indian troops will be receding to the Dhan Singh Thapa post, the Chinese would reportedly step back to their position east of Finger 8 of the lake.
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The two sides have also agreed to withdraw from their respective positions from the southern bank of Pangong Tso Lake area including heights around Chushul and Rezang La area.
Senior commanders of both the militaries have also agreed for a joint mechanism to verify the progress in disengagement process through meetings and aerial surveys.
External Affairs Ministry’s Joint Secretary Naveen Shrivastava and Brigadier Ghai of Directorate General of Military Operations had attended the last meeting between the two militaries.
Confirming concerted efforts to thaw tensions at the LAC, Army chief MM Narvane on Tuesday said both the sides are “ironing out the modalities of how to proceed ahead within the overarching guidelines which had been communicated post the interactions and the meetings between the respective ministers.”
The Army chief said both countries will soon hold another round of talks to discuss the road ahead.
“The process is on and we are very hopeful that we will be able to reach an agreement which is mutually-acceptable and mutually-beneficial in keeping with this overarching policy guideline which has been passed down to both sides …” he said.
Tensions between both the militaries, which were brewing since May escalated on June 15 when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash with Chinese troops in Galwan valley of eastern Ladakh.
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Several round of commander-level talks had so far failed to arrive at a consensus on disengagement and de-escalation of troops in the area.
During earlier discussions, China had urged India to leave the heights occupied in the Chushul-Moldo area and the north and south banks of Pangong Tso Lake, a demand that India had refused to accept.
The Indian Army has deployed more than 50,000 combat-ready troops in several locations of Ladakh, to match China’s deployment just across the LAC.