Chief of Army Staff General MM Narwane has sent a brief message to China that India wants peace and tranquility on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Unilateral changes will not be accepted in eastern Ladakh. Tension cannot be reduced without a complete withdrawal of troops from all points of confrontation in the area. The Indian Army is ready to deal with every kind of contingency situation.
General Narwane said that India is firmly and unashamedly dealing with the matter with China to ensure the purity of its claims in eastern Ladakh. He is also ready to take confidence-building steps.
It has been more than a year since the military standoff between the two sides began in eastern Ladakh. The deadlock began on May 5 last year. During this time, soldiers from both sides were killed in the conflict for the first time in 45 years. China has made limited progress towards the full withdrawal of troops into the Pangong Lake region. At the same time, there is a deadlock in negotiations for these steps at other points.
Army is ready to deal with every situation
General Narwane said that at this time the Indian Army is maintaining control over all the important areas in the high altitude area. He is young enough to deal with any accidental situation. These have been kept as ‘reserves’.
He said, ‘Our stand is very clear that the situation of the confrontation cannot be reduced without the withdrawal of the troops from all the points of the collision. India and China have signed several border agreements. They have been unilaterally violated by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China.
“We want peace and tranquility on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and are ready to take confidence-building steps, but we are ready to deal with all kinds of contingencies,” the army chief said.
The situation in the northern border is under control
The army chief said that the situation on the northern border is under control. The next round of military talks with China will focus on restoring the situation before April 2020.
General Narwane said, “The stand of the Indian Army is very clear that no loss of territory or unilateral change of status quo will be allowed.” We are dealing strongly and unabashedly with China to ensure the purity of our claims in eastern Ladakh. ‘
In response to the question of how long the deadlock is possible in areas such as Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang, the army chief said it was difficult to estimate the deadline.
Referring to the conflict in the Galvan Valley in June last year, he said, “The Indian Army follows all protocols and agreements between the two countries.” At the same time, the PLA made the situation tense by using non-conventional weapons and mobilizing large number of soldiers.
Can’t be complacent
After the conflict in the Galvan Valley, tensions between India and China increased. After the conflict, both sides transported thousands of soldiers and war tanks and other large arms to the area.
General Narwane said, “When there are military casualties on both sides in the event of a major deadlock between the two countries, then the level of trust is reduced. However, it has always been our endeavor that the process of negotiation should not be interrupted due to loss of confidence, ”he said.
Asked about the possibility of any tension rising in the area, the army chief said that after the agreement on the withdrawal of troops from the Pangong Lake area, the Chinese side has not committed any violations and there are few chances of any untoward incident.
He also said that at this time the number of soldiers on both sides is almost the same as last year. The Indian Army is aware of the situation in the area.
He said, ‘You can’t be complacent.’
China keeps an eye on everything
The army chief said that the training centers of PLA located in intensive areas about 1,000 km from LAC are also being monitored. In the sensitive area, there are between 50 and 60 thousand soldiers on both sides separately around the LAC.
After the deadlock began on May 5 last year, both sides completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the northern and southern sides of Pangong Lake in February. This was done under the agreement reached after military and diplomatic negotiations.
The two sides have held 11 rounds of military talks aimed at the withdrawal of troops from the points of confrontation and reduced tensions. The armies of the two countries are currently engaged in talks on extending the process of complete withdrawal of troops from the remaining points of the confrontation.
No progress was seen in the direction of the withdrawal of the troops from the remaining points of the collision. The Chinese side did not show any flexibility in the final round of talks on 9 April. The Chinese military is currently practicing in its training areas near the Ladakh region.