In a point-to-point rebuttal of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s claims on the border dispute with China, the defence ministry on Friday issued a statement clarifying that India has not conceded any territory as a result of the disengagement agreement in Ladakh.
The ministry’s statement reads: “India has not conceded any territory as a result of this agreement. On the contrary, it has enforced observance and respect for LAC and prevented any unilateral change in the status quo.”
The statement also provides that there are still unresolved issues with China that will have to be solved through dialogue. The unresolved issues pertain to the Hot Springs, Gogra and Despang which will be taken up 48 hours after completion of the disengagement process currently underway at Pangong Tso lake.
Defence ministry’s statement
The statement reads: “Ministry of Defence has taken note of some misinformed and misleading comments being amplified in the media and on social media regarding the disengagement currently underway at Pangong Tso.”
“At the outset, Ministry of Defence reiterates that the factual position has already been clearly communicated by the Raksha Mantri in his statements to both Houses of the Parliament.”
“However, it is necessary to set the record straight and counter certain instances of wrongly understood information being amplified in media and social media.”
“The assertion that Indian territory is upto 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 upto 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.”
“India has not conceded any territory as a result of this agreement. On the contrary, it has enforced observance and respect for LAC and prevented any unilateral change in the status quo.”
“Raksha Mantri’s statement also made clear that there are outstanding problems to be addressed, including at Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang. The outstanding issues are to be taken up within 48 hrs of the completion of the Pangong Tso disengagement.”
“The effective safeguarding of our national interest and territory in the Eastern Ladakh sector has taken place because the Government has reposed full faith in the capabilities of the armed forces. Those who doubt the achievements made possible by the sacrifices of our military personnel are actually disrespecting them.”
What did Rahul Gandhi say?
Rahul Gandhi, during a press conference on Friday, called Prime Minister Narendra Modi “a coward” who cannot stand up to the Chinese. He said that the PM has not fulfilled the responsibility of protecting Indian territory and has instead ceded territory to China.
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