India on Thursday said there was no change in its position on the disputed Line of Actual Control and that the disengagement on the border to resolve tensions with China was an “ongoing process”. Anurag Srivastava, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said that mutual redeployment along the border should not be misrepresented.
“The disengagement process currently underway in the Western sector is specifically aimed at addressing face-off situations and close-up deployments of troops along the LAC,” Srivastava said at the weekly press briefing. “It is based on an understanding between senior military commanders.”
Srivastava added that the disengagement along the LAC was complex and therefore unsubstantiated and inaccurate reports need to be avoided. “There is absolutely no change with respect to India’s position on the Line of Actual Control,” he said. “We are fully committed to observing and respecting the LAC. Any unilateral attempts to change the status quo along the LAC are not acceptable.”
The foreign ministry spokesperson said steps to ensure complete disengagement at the earliest were discussed at the fourth round of commander-level talks at Chushul. “Both sides have agreed at specific points to re-deploy towards their regular posts on their respective sides of the LAC,” he added. “These are mutually agreed reciprocal actions to be taken by both sides. And as I have already conveyed, it is an ongoing process.”
He also said both India and China were committed to full restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas.
Earlier in the day, the Indian Army said the disengagement process was “intricate and requires constant verification”. Army Spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand added that the two sides were taking forward the disengagement process through frequent military and diplomatic meetings.
India has consistently pushed for the restoration of status quo ante of April and withdrawal of Chinese troops along the disputed areas after the June 15 clashes, which resulted in 20 deaths on the Indian side and an unknown number of casualties on the Chinese side.