Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday briefed the Lok Sabha on the India-China border issue along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and said, “Since last September, both sides (India and China) have maintained communication with each other through military and diplomatic channels.” Singh added, “Our objective was to effect disengagement and maintain status quo along the LAC so as to restore peace and tranquillity.”

Singh in the Lok Sabha said that India has told China, through talks at diplomatic levels, that both sides agree on LAC and respect it; no side, unilaterally, will try to change the status quo; and both sides will follow all the agreements made by the two sides. The Defence Minister said that these three points need to be followed by both sides, India told China.

“The agreement that we have been able to reach with the Chinese side for disengagement in Pangong lake area envisages that both sides will cease their forward deployments in a phased, coordinated and verified manner,” Singh said.

He praised the Indian Army, saying, “Our Armed Forces responded to challenges by unilateral Chinese action and have shown valour and courage on both South and North bank of Pangong Tso. Many strategic points were identified and our troops positioned themselves at locations very important from our point of view.”

“It’s because of this bravery of our Armed Forces in harsh adverse climatic conditions that we maintained the edge. Our Armed Forces proved yet again that territorial integrity of our country remains safe in their hands, and their grit and determination is unwavering.”

The Defence Minister had earlier briefed the Rajya Sabha on the India-China border issue, where he said both nations have agreed on disengagement along Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh, which is a key friction point between the two neighbours.

“Our sustained talks with China have led to agreement on disengagement at the north and south banks of Pangong Lake,” Singh said in the House.