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SOURCE: HT

The external affairs ministry on Thursday declined to comment on reports that India and China are discussing proposals for disengagement in the finger area and around Pangong Lake in Ladakh sector, saying the two sides will soon hold another round of talks on the border standoff.

The two sides are reportedly discussing proposals to withdraw tanks and artillery from along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), creating a zone between fingers four and seven where there will be no patrolling by both sides, and thinning troops on the south bank of Pangong Lake, which will be followed by a joint verification.

Asked about the matter at the weekly news briefing, ministry of external affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava declined to go into details and said: “Discussions are ongoing.”

During the eighth round of talks between Indian and Chinese military commanders, held in Chushul on November 6, the two sides held “candid, in-depth and constructive” talks and exchanged views on disengagement at all friction points along the LAC in the western sector, he said.

“India and China have agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels, and, taking forward the discussions at this meeting of the senior commanders, push for the settlement of other outstanding issues. They have also agreed to have another round of the meeting soon,” Srivastava said.

The border standoff has entered its seventh month and tens of thousands of troops from both sides have dug in for the winter along the LAC in Ladakh sector.