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Sino-Indian Border Agreement On Pullback

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The ongoing India-China border conflict may be resolved soon, according to indications received on Wednesday, with the armies of the two countries agreeing to disengage from parts of Ladakh sector.

According to ANI news agency, under the terms of the agreement, troops of the two sides would move back to positions they occupied prior to April-May this year.

There was no immediate confirmation of the report from the Indian army. 

But if correct, it would mean a major victory for India which had said that troops of the two sides must pull back to positions they occupied prior to May or restore status quo ante.

According to ANI, the disengagement plan was discussed between top military commanders of the two countries during their meeting in Chushul on 6 November. 

Someone familiar with the matter confirmed that some proposals had been received at the meeting from the Chinese side but did not elaborate.

As per the disengagement plan which is to be carried out in three steps in one week from the talks in the Pangong lake area, armoured vehicles including tanks and armoured personnel carriers were to be moved back from their frontline deployment to a significant distance from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) by both sides, unnamed sources told ANI.

The disengagement of tanks and armoured personnel carriers was to be carried out within one day.

In the second step to be carried out near the northern bank on the Pangong Lake, both sides are to withdraw around 30 % of troops every day for three days. The Indian side would be coming close to its administrative Dhan Singh Thapa post while the Chinese has agreed to return to their position east of Finger 8.

In the third and last step, the two sides are to withdraw from their respective positions from the frontline along the southern bank of Pangong Lake area which includes the heights and territories around Chushul and Rezang La area. India had taken commanding positions on the heights of five mountains on the southern bank of Pangong Tso lake in August surprising the Chinese.

Indian and Chinese militaries also agreed on a joint mechanism to verify the progress in the disengagement process through delegation meetings as well as using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), ANI said.

The Indian side is moving very carefully on the issue as there is a major trust deficit with China after the Galwan valley clash in June this year in which 20 Indian soldiers had lost their lives and many Chinese army soldiers, including their Commanding Officer, were killed by the Indian troops. That clash had taken place when Indian troops had gone to verify whether the Chinese side was adhering to what was agreed at a meeting of corps commanders on 6 June.

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