Long way before disengagement

Eight months after the deadly clash between soldiers of India and China at Galwan valley in Ladakh, the disengagement process from Pangong Tso Lake started on Thursday. The pulling back of troops from their respective disputed Himalayan border is seen as a breakthrough, following a deadly clash in June. The clash led to the death of soldiers on both the sides. Since then, Indian and Chinese troops have been facing off on the north and south shores of the glacial Pangong Lake that lies in territory claimed by both sides.

The tense standoff in eastern Ladakh had its impact on the whole of LAC. Reports of clashes between soldiers of the two countries were reported even from the Sikkim area. There is no doubt that disengagement is a good beginning, but still there is a long way to go. The disengagement process in the north and south bank of the Pangong Lake was achieved after nine rounds of meetings between the senior military commanders. This shows how difficult the process is. Also, the whole exercise has just started and still there is a long way to go. Until the entire content of the disengagement agreement is accepted by China, it will be premature to celebrate. It is still believed that China has illegally occupied 38,000 sq kms of Indian territory in the region. Therefore, there is a long way to go before peace can return to LAC.