NEW DELHI, Feb 16: Indian and Chinese tanks were seen disengaging from the south bank of Pangong lake area in eastern Ladakh where they were deployed amid a standoff areas along the Line of Actual Control.
Multiple videos and images released by the Indian Army today show the continued process of disengagement between Chinese and Indian forces on both banks of the lake, seen to be a breakthrough after the forces of both sides were involved in a face-off on this area for nearly a year.
India and China have agreed to pull back troops from both banks of of the bitterly contested lake area high in the western Himalayas, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Singh had said last Thursday. The “synchronised and organised disengagement” began last week.
Videos also show Chinese forces dismantling tents and bunkers and carrying heavy load and walking on the mountainous terrain. A large number of Chinese soldiers are seen walking down a hillside to trucks which are waiting to take them away. Chinese earth-movers were seen restoring the land in the area, thus removing military structures which had been set up. The army has not specified if this set of images was from the north or south bank of Pangong.
The Chinese side will keep its troop presence in north bank of Pangong Lake to the east of “Finger 8”. Reciprocally, Indian troops will be based at their permanent base at Dhan Singh Thapa Post near “Finger 3” and the area in between will be no man’s land for now with both sides agreeing not to patrol.
Once the disengagement has been completed at the lake, military commanders will meet within 48 hours to discuss pull back from other areas, the Defence Minister had said.
India-China tensions resurfaced in May last year with a series of skirmishes in the Pangong Lake region. The row escalated on June 14, when 20 Indian soldiers died for the country in a physical clash in Galwan Valley. There have been several rounds of talks to resolve the standoff since. (AGENCY)