Ministry of Defence (MoD) finally issued a statement responding to allegations that was raising by opposition that Government have given up territory in the disengagement process in Eastern Ladakh.
What was the allegations ?
Opposition saying that India’s perception line of LAC goes up to Finger 8, but as per disengagement agreement, Indian Army restricted till Dhan Singh Thapa ITBP post which is situated in between Finger 3/4.
Now as the land between Finger 4 and Finger 8 is marked as a buffer zone and no party can patrol in this area. That means LAC is effectively shifted from Finger 8 to Finger 4.
What MoD has to say.
On allegation that Indian territory now limits up to Finger 4, MoD said, “The assertion that Indian territory is upto Finger 4 is categorically false. The territory of India is as depicted by the map of India and includes more than 43,000 sq km currently under illegal occupation of China since 1962.”
Defence Ministry confirms that Indian perception of Line of Actual Control (LAC) is at Finger 8, not as Finger 4.
“Even the Line of Actual Control (LAC), as per the Indian perception, is at Finger 8, not at Finger 4. That is why India has persistently maintained the right to patrol upto Finger 8, including in the current understanding with China,” MoD said.
“Permanent posts of both sides at the north bank of Pangong Tso are longstanding and well established. On the Indian side, it is Dhan Singh Thapa Post near Finger 3 and on the Chinese side, east of Finger 8. The current agreement provides for cessation of forward deployment by both sides and continued deployment at these permanent posts.” MoD added.
MoD has made it clear that India has not conceded any territory as a result of this agreement. On the contrary, it has enforced observance and respect for LAC and prevented any unilateral change in the status quo.
Concerns about the Disengagement Process
The relationship between India & China already going through a shaky ground after Doklam standoff and the Ladakh standoff has completely breaks the trust between both country.
As India can not trust China, the major concerns surfaced related to disengagement is China ability to quickly redeploy troops in the area.
Chinese troops stationed in Sirijap post (close to Finger 8) can reach Finger 8 in very less time compared to Indian troops because of good infrastructure. Chinese had built a road till Finger 4, means they can deploy troops in less than hour with the help of their 4×4 vehicles.
Chinese have Type-928D boats which can carry 25 troops at a time and with help of these boats they can further decrease the deployment time.
India must be very careful while vacating ridge lines of Finger 4. We have to make sure China didn’t perform any misadventure like they did last year resulting 9 months long military standoff.