Northern Army Commander Lt General Y K Joshi said Wednesday that getting the People’s Liberation Army to withdraw beyond the Indian claim line at Finger 8 on the north bank of Pangong Tso is a “huge success for India”.
In an email interview to The Indian Express, Lt General Joshi said the purpose behind occupying the heights along Kailash Range on the southern bank of Pangong Tso had been achieved with the disengagement on the northern bank of the lake.
He said a “misperception is being created” to say that India had lost out by accepting the no-patrolling buffer zone between Fingers 4 and 8.
“The fact is that it is a huge success for us. Firstly, PLA is moving back beyond our claim line that is Finger 8. Secondly, this agreement denies them the advantage of patrolling till Finger 4. In fact, PLA will not be carrying out any activity, military or otherwise in the areas claimed by us. Thirdly, they will be restoring the entire landform within our claim line and dismantling all the structures that were created post April 2020,” he said.
“At one point, PLA was not accepting to vacate this area between Finger 4 and Finger 8, but once the tables were turned on August 29/30, it was forced to negotiate as per our terms,” he said.
On these dates last year, Indian Army’s Special Forces occupied the most dominating features of the Rechin La-Rezang La complex on the Kailash Range, which helped it dominate the PLA’s Moldo garrison and areas beyond. In coordinated moves, the Indian Army also occupied the heights dominating PLA positions along Finger 4.