India is keeping an eagle-eye on the mutual disengagement underway between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Pangong Tso area of eastern Ladakh, tallying it with the phased pullback specified in the written agreement inked between the two countries last week.
Top government sources said concerns that India was giving up hard-won tactical gains of control of the heights along the south bank of the lake were misplaced as the Chinese were now removing the considerable infrastructure, including a helipad, they had set up in the ‘Finger’ area. The Indian positions on the strategic heights on the south bank had nullified the Chinese positions and were a key factor in the PLA agreeing to withdraw from the area. In the past, the Chinese side had called on Indian forces to wind down its presence before reciprocating while now the disengagement is graded and mutual. The decision not to have any patrolling in the Finger areas under discussion was being incorrectly as being ceding of Indian Rights. In the first major breakthrough in talks to resolve the nine-month military standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, troops from both sides have started disengaging from the Pangong Tso area in eastern Ladakh. As of now, the disengagement process seems restricted to the north and south banks of Pangong Tso.