Disengagement at LAC raises hopes, but Delhi would remain cautious
New Delhi, Feb 11: The spotlight is now on how the broader disengagement plan will unfold at the other flashpoint along the Line of Actual Control. India keeps a close watch even as there has been a limited withdrawal of frontline troops by the Indian and Chinese armies from of the key friction points along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh.
The mutual pullback of infantry combat vehicles and tanks from the heights of the southern bank of Pangong Tso came a fortnight after the military commander level talks. This has raised hopes for a solution to the military standoff that is now 10 months old.
Top officials tell OneIndia that India will continue to keep a close watch on the developments. This is in fact the first significant move towards easing of tensions since the standoff began.
The deployments by the Chinese PLA in the forward areas of Depsang had hindered access to Indian soldiers to the routes leading to Patrolling Points, 10, 11, 11-A, 12 and 13. Before the PLA snatched positions on Finger 4, the Indian soldiers would patrol up to Finger 8, which New Delhi says is Indian territory.
While India keeps a close watch, New Delhi would continue to remain cautious. The statement by the Defence Minister in the Rajya Sabha today at 10.30 am would offer more clarity. It is a welcome move, raises hopes, but we have to remain cautious the official cited above said.
Beijing on Wednesday said that India and China had begun synchronised and organised disengagement from the north and south banks of Pangong Tso. "The Chinese and Indian frontline troops at the southern and northern bank of the Pangong Tso Lake start synchronised and organised disengagement from February 10," Senior Colonel Wu Qian, China's defence spokesperson, said in a written statement.
There was however no official word from Delhi, following the statement. Singh's statement in the Upper House will give more clarity on the situation along the Line of Actual Control, where the two countries are engaged in a standoff since last May.
The last round of talks between the two countries lasted over 15 hours. The talks were aimed at diffusing tensions along the LAC.