India-China: Galwan border disengagement to bring peace on both sides
On Thursday, Indian defense minister, Rajnath Singh announced that after a series of talks with China over the ongoing border issue, both the parties were able to reach a disengagement agreement. The move would bring peace and stability to the north and south banks of Pangong Lake, a shared waterbody between India and China.
While making an announcement in the Rajya Sabha, Singh said, “Our aim is to maintain peace and tranquility at LAC. Last year, what China did, impacted peace at the border. We clarified the importance of disengagement at LAC. We also have an adequate and effective counter deployment at the border.” He added that India captured “not an inch of land” and expected China to respect and adopt a similar move.
Both the parties agreed to the phase-wise disengagement plan, which would be verified at every level to ensure compliance by both the nations. The process included disengagement of troops first at the lake’s north bank and then the south bank. Tanks have been retrieved from the south bank, and eventually both the parties would cut down the strength of their troops deployed near the border.
Sources familiar with the agreement mentioned, “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.”
The BJP-led central government, in its written reply to Lok Sabha regarding the India-China standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), said, “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.”
It was the first time, both the sides were able to reach a conclusion to the ongoing border friction, after months of multiple rounds of failed talks. Since the standoff erupted between Beijing and Delhi, both the sides deployed huge number of combat-ready troops, in eastern Ladakh. As per the reports, India had deployed about 50,000 army personnel near the tense border area, and officials added that China also deployed an equal number of troops.