India says reached deal with China on border troop disengagement

India says reached deal with China on border troop disengagement
Indian soldiers disembark from a military transport plane at a forward air base in Leh, Ladakh. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: China and India have agreed to disengage troops from a bitterly contested lake area in the western Himalayas in a breakthrough after a months-long standoff on the disputed border. The Indian defence minister confirmed it.

On Thursday, Rajnath Singh told Parliament that the accord had been reached after several rounds of talks between military commanders and diplomats.

He said: “Our sustained talks with China have led to agreement on disengagement on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake.”

The defence ministry of China said front-line troops from the two countries had begun to pull back from the shores of the lake on Wednesday.

The standoff between the two countries began in April last year when India said Chinese troops had intruded deep into its side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) or the de facto border in the Ladakh area in the western Himalayas.

China said its soldiers were operating in its own area and accused Indian border guards of provocative actions.

Ajai Shukla, security analyst and former Indian army officer, said he welcomed the troop disengagement at the disputed Ladakh border.

Mr Shukla also pointed out that China has “refused to discuss” reports of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers crossing the LAC at another point.

“Any form of disengagement is to be welcomed. Therefore, it is good if there is a pullback by both sides in the Pangong sector. However, it is a matter of concern that the PLA has refused to discuss a pullback from the Depsang sector, where the Chinese have intruded deepest into India’s side of the LAC,” he told Al Jazeera, referring to another area in Ladakh.

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