No territory conceded, says MEA as Jaishankar, Wang discuss implementation of 'Moscow pact' on border standoff

By PTI
NEW DELHI: India on Thursday said it has not conceded any territory as part of the disengagement agreement with China and asserted that it has rather enforced observance of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to prevent any unilateral change in the status quo.

At an online media briefing here, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said there has not been any change in India’s position on the LAC and the mutual redeployment as a result of the disengagement process should not be misrepresented.

Asked about the recent agreement on the de-escalation process in Ladakh’s Pangong Lake area, he said the factual position has been very well conveyed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and in a Defence Ministry statement, which he said was aimed at setting the record straight in view of certain misleading and misinformed comments that appeared in the media.

“India has not conceded any territory as a result of this agreement. On the contrary, it has enforced observance and respect for LAC and it has prevented any unilateral change in the status quo,” Srivastava said.

Last week, armies of the two countries which have been locked in a standoff in eastern Ladakh concluded withdrawal of troops and weapons from north and south banks of Pangong Tso in the high-altitude region.

However, issues still remain.

During the talks, India is learnt to have insisted on a faster disengagement process in areas like Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang to bring down tension in the region.

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Thursday and discussed the implementation of their ‘Moscow Agreement’ on the border standoff in eastern Ladakh as well as reviewed the status of disengagement.

A five-point agreement was reached between Jaishankar and Wang at a meeting in Moscow on September 10 on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) conclave.

The pact included measures like quick disengagement of troops, avoiding action that could escalate tensions, adherence to all agreements and protocols on border management and steps to restore peace along the Line of Actual Control.

“Spoke to State Councilor & Foreign Minister Wang Yi this afternoon. Discussed the implementation of our Moscow Agreement and reviewed the status of disengagement,” Jaishankar said in a tweet on Thursday.

Last week, armies of the two countries which have been locked in a standoff in eastern Ladakh concluded withdrawal of troops and weapons from north and south banks of Pangong Tso in the high-altitude region.