Placing facts on record, the Ministry of Defence stated on Friday that the assertion that the Indian territory in the Pangong Tso area is up to Finger 4 is categorically “false”.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, while accusing the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government of giving up land to the Chinese, claimed that the Indian territory is up to Finger 4.
In response to Rahul Gandhi’s allegations, the Ministry of Defence in a statement, claimed that 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 up to Finger 8, including in the current understanding with China”, the MoD said in a statement.
The ministry reiterated that the factual position has already been clearly communicated by the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh 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, it said.
The MoD said that the 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,” MoD said while adding that the current agreement provides for cessation of forward deployment by both sides and continued deployment at these permanent posts.
The ministry further clarified that 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,” an official from the ministry said.
In a statement made by Rajnath Singh on Thursday made it 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 ministry further said while adding that 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,” the MoD said.