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No territory conceded under disengagement pact with China: MEA

Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava. File Photo.  

India on Thursday said it has not conceded any territory as part of the disengagement agreement with China and asserted that it has rather enforced observance of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to prevent any unilateral change in the status quo.

Comment | Dealing with the bigger neighbour, China

At an online media briefing here, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said there has not been any change in India’s position on the LAC and the mutual redeployment as a result of the disengagement process should not be misrepresented.

Asked about the recent agreement on the de-escalation process in Ladakh’s Pangong Lake area, he said the factual position has been very well conveyed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and in a Defence Ministry statement, which he said was aimed at setting the record straight in view of certain misleading and misinformed comments that appeared in the media.

“... India has not conceded any territory as a result of this agreement. On the contrary, it has enforced observance and respect for LAC and it has prevented any unilateral change in the status quo,” Mr. Srivastava said.

Last week, armies of the two countries which have been locked in a standoff in eastern Ladakh concluded withdrawal of troops and weapons from north and south banks of Pangong Tso in the high-altitude region.

Also Read | India waited till China pulled back its troops

However, issues still remain. During the talks, India is learnt to have insisted on a faster disengagement process in areas like Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang to bring down tension in the region.

To a question on a court ruling in the UK on fugitive businessman Nirav Modi’s extradition, Mr. Srivastava said the government will liaise with the British authorities for his early extradition.

Neighbourly ties with Pakistan

As Indian and Pakistani armies agreed to strictly observe all their ceasefire agreements, the MEA said India desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan and is committed to resolving all issues bilaterally in a peaceful manner.

“On key issues, our position remains unchanged. I don’t think I need to reiterate it,” Mr. Srivastava told reporters.

His comments followed a joint statement issued after a hotline discussion between the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan during which the two sides agreed to strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control and all other sectors with effect from Wednesday midnight.

Also Read | Pakistan violates ceasefire along International Border in Jammu and Kashmir‘s Kathua

Asked about the development, the MEA spokesperson said, “As regards to the joint statement of the DGMOs and related issues, I would refer you to the Ministry of Defence.” “On relations with Pakistan, as we have said earlier, India desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan. We have always maintained we are committed to addressing issues, if any, in a peaceful and bilateral manner,” he said.

India and Pakistan signed a ceasefire agreement in 2003, but it has hardly been followed in letter and spirit over the past several years with more violations than an observance of the pact.

Army officials asserted that there would be no let-up in its fight against terrorism or in its troop deployment along the borders, following the new commitment that they described as a fresh attempt at peace in the region.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 10:58:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/no-territory-conceded-under-disengagement-pact-with-china-mea/article33933972.ece

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