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India has not conceded territory at Pangong Tso, says Defence Ministry
New Delhi, February 12, 2021
The Defence Ministry today said India has not conceded any territory following the agreement with China on disengagement of defence forces at Pangong Tso.
On the contrary, it has enforced observance and respect for the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and prevented any unilateral change in the status quo, the Ministry said in a statement.
“Ministry of Defence has taken note of some misinformed and misleading comments being amplified in the media and on social media regarding the disengagement currently underway at Pangong Tso.
“At the outset, Ministry of Defence reiterates that the factual position has already been clearly communicated by the Defence Minister in his statements to both Houses of the Parliament,” it said.
“However, it is necessary to set the record straight and counter certain instances of wrongly understood information being amplified in media and social media.
“The assertion that Indian territory is up to 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, the Ministry said.
“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 up to Finger 8, including in the current understanding with China.
“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,” it added.
The Defence Minister’s statement also made it clear about outstanding problems to be addressed, including at Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang. The outstanding issues were to be taken up within 48 hours of the completion of the Pangong Tso disengagement.
“The effective safeguarding of our national interest and territory in the Eastern Ladakh sector has taken place because the Government has reposed full faith in the capabilities of the armed forces. Those who doubt the achievements made possible by the sacrifices of our military personnel are actually disrespecting them,” the Ministry said in the statement.