When India and China are engaged in the military standoff along the northern bank of the Pangong Tso in Ladakh, China has decided to move its army to Finger 8 and also proposed that both the countries should move their armies from the present location to the southern side of the lake.
The Line of Actual Control passes through Finger 8 on the northern side of the Pangong Tso. When in May the People’s liberation army had climbed 8 km towards the west to the Finger 4.
The plan included shifting the tanks, the artillery and the arms further aside in order to avoid the occurrence of any incident as the tension in the said area is high. Additionally, it is not beneficial for the soldiers from both India and China to be engaged in the standoff in the biting cold winter of Ladakh.
As per sources, India has considered the proposal but it is not approved as they are discussing the possibilities of the plan.
The main focus of China is said to be on disengaging the standoff on the northern side of Pangong Tso while India has maintained its stand on achieving the status quo.
There have been several rounds of meetings for a peaceful settlement. The commanders of both the armies had a submit on November 6 for the same but no decision was taken. However, sources have claimed that it is highly likely for China to agree to the proposal and schedule a meeting soon.
Lt General PG K Menon, Commander of Leh-based XIV Corps, and Major General Liu Lin, Commander of South Xinjiang Military Region were present in the meeting. When they proposed that China was ready to move back to Finger 8 on the northern side of the Pangong Tso. They also brought up about the Indian troops shifting to the West side of Finger 8. The plan also mentioned a temporary no-patrolling region which lies in between Finger 4 and Finger 8.
The official from the Indian army said that nothing is committed as of now, all the suggestions are being discussed which includes the timelines, distances, and contingency situations.
“Everything will be based on verification”, he added. For the fact that India has been facing trust and commitment issues with respect to China. India will be careful while considering the proposal.
However, after the Chinese army moved towards the Finger 4, in a few months they backed off to the lower base of Finger 5 in July. While the Indian Army also stepped back to Finger 3. Now the PLA has denied moving further back to Finger 3 and both the armies have been engaged in the standoff ever since.
In August, the Indian army had occupied the southern side of the Pangong lake and the sub-sector of Chushul. They were scattered in the hills of Gurung, Rezang La, Magar, Mukhpari and Rechin La. It gave them a direct vision to the activities in China’s side and the height also gave them the advantage of launching attacks, if necessary.