India, China reached pact on disengagement in Pangong lake areas in eastern Ladakh: Rajnath Singh

New Delhi: Expressing anguish over 'misinformed' and 'misleading' comments on the ongoing disengagement process between Indian and Chinese armies at Pangong Tso, the Defence Ministry on Friday categorically stated the country has not conceded any territory and explained in details the border row with Beijing at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The Defence Ministry's statement comes after Rahul Gandhi questioned the government on Friday over its agreement with China on disengagement of troops in eastern Ladakh. The Congress Lok Sabha MP alleged that Prime Minister Narendra has "ceded" Indian territory to Beijing.

Releasing a detailed statement on the ongoing border standoff with China and the decades-long LAC row, the ministry said, "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."

"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," the Defence Ministry's statement read.

The Centre categorically said that India has not conceded any territory as a result of this agreement, adding that "On the contrary, it has enforced observance and respect for LAC and prevented any unilateral change in the status quo". 

It further said that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told the Parliament that there are outstanding problems to be addressed, including at Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang, which would be taken up within 48 hrs of the completion of the Pangong Tso disengagement.

Making a statement in Rajya Sabha, Singh said that India and China have reached an agreement on disengagement of troops from the north and south banks of the Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh and as per the agreement between the both sides, "The Chinese side will keep its troop presence in the North Bank area to east of Finger 8. Reciprocally, the Indian troops will be based at their permanent base at Dhan Singh Thapa Post near Finger 3."