Defence Ministry tears into Rahul Gandhi’s claims that India ceded territory to China
New Delhi, Feb 13: The assertion that the Indian territory is up to Finger 4 in Pangong Tso area is categorically false, the Ministry of Defence said in a strongly worded statement after Rahul Gandhi claimed that India had ceded territory to China during the disengagement.
India has not conceded any territory as a result of the agreement with China, the ministry also said.
Further it said that even the Line of Actual Control as per the Indian perception is at Finger 8 and Finger 4. India has persistently maintained the right to patrol up to Finger 8, including in the current understanding with China, the Defence Ministry also said.
The permanent posts of both sides at north bank of Pangong Tso are long-standing and well established, the Defence Ministry also noted. Further the ministry said that on the contrary India prevented any unilateral change in status quo and said that the LAC was at Finger 8 and not 4.
Following an agreement reached between India and China, the disengagement at Pangong Lake began at 9 am on Wednesday. This is thanks to several back channel talks held by the military commanders, External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval with their counterparts in Beijing. Officials tell OneIndia that this has been achieved after the back-channel talks by India's top national security planners and also the fact that India stood its ground.
Officials also said that once the disengagement is complete at Pangong Tso, talks would be initiated about the withdrawal from patrolling point 15 and 17 ie Gogra and Hot Springs respectively.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in the Rajya Sabha that the Armed Forces had responded to the challenges posed by the unilateral Chinese action and have shown valour and courage on both South and North bank of Pangong Tso.
The statement in the Upper House was made a day after China said that both the armies would disengage from the north and south banks of Pangong Tso.
The statement by the Defence Minister signals that the are clear signs of tensions being eased in Eastern Ladakh.
Many strategically important points were identified and our troops positioned themselves at those Hill Tops and at locations which were very important from our point of view. It is because of this great bravery of our Armed Forces in the face of harsh adverse climatic conditions that we maintained the edge. Our Armed Forces proved yet again that territorial integrity of our country remains safe in their hands and their grit and determination to safeguard our borders is unwavering, the Defence Minister said.