Military commanders of India, China to hold talks on Saturday

NEW DELHI: Senior commanders of Indian and Chinese armies will hold a fresh round of high-level talks on Saturday to take forward the disengagement process after both sides completed withdrawal of troops and military hardware from the North and South banks of Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh, official sources said on Friday.

The Corps Commander-level talks are scheduled to start at the Moldo border point on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh, they said.

After nine months of standoff, the two militaries reached an agreement on disengagement of troops in the North and South banks of Pangong lake that mandated both sides withdraw troops in a “phased, coordinated and verifiable” manner.

The disengagement began on February 10.

The sources said the disengagement process in Pangong lake areas concluded in line with an agreement between the two sides.

In a statement in Parliament on February 11, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said China will pull back its troops to east of Finger 8 areas in the northern bank of Pangong lake while the Indian personnel will be based at their permanent base at Dhan Singh Thapa Post near Finger 3 in the region.

He said similar action would take place on the south bank of the lake as well.

The defence minister had said that it was agreed to convene the next meeting of senior commanders of both sides within 48 hours of completion of the disengagement in the Pangong lake area so as to resolve all other remaining issues.

The defence ministry later said other outstanding “problems” including in Depsang, Hot Springs and Gogra will be taken up at the upcoming talks between military commanders of the two countries.