(This was originally posted in India Today by Geeta Mohan)
The disengagement between India and China in the Gogra Heights area of eastern Ladakh has been completed and both sides are back to their permanent bases, the government said on Thursday During the 12th Corps Commander-level meeting held on July 31, India and China had reached an agreement to disengage in the Gogra Heights. The two sides have disengaged around Patrol Point 17A in eastern Ladakh. This had been one of the friction points between the two countries amid the military tussle that has been on for more than a year.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson said the landform in the Gogra Heights area has been “restored by both sides to pre-standoff period”. “You would have seen the detailed press releases issued regarding the 12th round of Corps Commander-level talks and on disengagement in the area of Gogra. The disengagement process at that area has been completed and troops of both sides are now in their respective permanent bases,” the spokesperson said.
Besides this, the MEA said India and China have expressed commitment to take the talks forward and resolve remaining issues along the Line of Actual Control in the Western Sector “As you know, India has always maintained that disengagement, followed by de-escalation, would help our overall bilateral relations move forward,” the MEA spokesperson said.
On August 2, India and China issued a joint statement saying the two sides had a “candid and in-depth” exchange of views on resolving disengagement along the LAC. Terming the 12th Corps Commander-level talks “constructive”, the statement said the two sides have agreed to resolve remaining issues in an “expeditious manner” and in accordance with existing bilateral agreements and protocols.
“All temporary structures and other allied infrastructure created in the area by both sides have been dismantled and mutually verified. The landform in the area has been restored by both sides to pre-stand off period,” the Indian Army said in a statement on August 6. As per the agreement, both sides have ceased forward deployments in this area in a phased, coordinated and verified manner. The disengagement process was carried out over 4 and 5 August, 2021.