India seeks 'total disengagement' of troops along LAC

India says objective of its talks with China is complete disengagement of troops along LAC

The Chinese PLA is reported to be reinforcing its positions and building roads on the northern bank of Pangong Tso

Representative image. Credit: iStock.

India on Thursday stated that the objective of its engagement with China was to ensure “complete disengagement” of troops from the face-off points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) – the de facto boundary between the two nations in eastern Ladakh.

New Delhi stressed on “complete disengagement” of troops as the objective for India-China talks, amid reports that the communist country’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of late is not only reinforced and fortified its positions, but is also building roads on the northern bank of Pangong Tso (lake), instead of preparing to pull back its soldiers from the face-off scenes.

“The objective of these discussions (between diplomats and senior military commanders of India and China) is to ensure complete disengagement and full restoration of peace and tranquillity along the LAC in the western sector,” Anurag Srivastava, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), told journalist during a briefing on Thursday.

He was replying to a query on New Delhi’s view on the reports about Chinese PLA building defence structures fortifying its forward positions in the northern bank of Pangong Tso as well as the other face-off scenes along the LAC.

The reports about the PLA’s move to fortify its positions came even as the senior military commanders of India and China were discussing a disengagement plan, beginning with the northern and southern banks of Pangong Tso. The plan could not be implemented yet as the Indian Army turned down the Chinese PLA’s proposal for creating a moratorium on patrolling between Finger 3 and Finger 8 on the northern bank of the lake.

Srivastava said that the discussion between the senior military commanders of India and China during the eighth round of talks on November 6 were “candid, in-depth and constructive” with both sides exchanging views on disengagement at all friction points along the LAC in the western sector of the India-China border areas. “We will continue our dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels and have also agreed to have another round of talks soon with a view to achieve this objective,” said the MEA spokesperson.