New Delhi: Former Defence Minister and senior Congress leader A.K. Antony has accused the government of a "total surrender" to China and conceding strategic points to the Chinese.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi along with Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, Antony alleged that "the Indian LAC was till Finger 8 and after withdrawing to Finger 3, Indian forces will lose patrolling rights till Finger 8 and also the post at Finger 4."
He said Indian forces were at strategic location of Kailash ranges and withdrawing from there is not in Indian interest as the forces can monitor Chinese movements from there.
Antony said, "Galwan was not even disputed in 1962 and the government can't hide behind historical facts."
The Congress has criticised Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's statement in Parliament where he informed about the disengagement being done.
Surjewala said "the country will not accept anything less than status quo ante of April 2020 and the government has undermined the bravery of our forces."
The Congress questioned the government as to why the buffer zone has been created in Indian territory. The Congress also paid tributes to the martyrs of the Pulwama attack.
Surjewala asked whether the Prime Minister and Defence Minister will explain why the government is agreeing to withdraw the Indian armed forces from dominant positions in Kailash ranges where the Chinese are at a disadvantage, without any quid pro quo by China.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday informed Parliament that India and China have reached an agreement to disengage troops from north and south of the Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh region.
He said sustained talks with China have led to the agreement on the disengagement on the north and south banks of Pangong Lake. After the agreement, India-China will remove forward deployments in a phased and coordinated manner.
China will keep its troops to the east of Finger 8 in the north of Pangong lake. India will keep its troops at its permanent base near Finger 3, said Rajnath.
"China has built up a heavy force with arms and ammunition on their side at several spots near the LAC in eastern Ladakh. Our forces have also adequately and effectively done counter deployment," the Defence Minister had said.
(from IANS with minor edits)