Wednesday 28 October 2020

Army chief: Security along LoAC enhanced, situation delicate, serious

Army Chief Manoj Mukund Naravane on 4 September said that the situation along the contested Line of Actual Control (LoAC) was “delicate and serious” and the army has taken some precautionary measures to enhance security in the wake of the ongoing developments. Naravane reached Leh on 3 September for a two-day security review of the Ladakh sector, where India and China armies have deployed almost 1,00,000 soldiers and weaponry in their forward and depth areas.

He said the situation has been delicate for over three months. The army chief said talks were on at the military and diplomatic level to resolve the situation. “I am confident that talks can help resolve the border problem fully,” said Naravane, after visiting several forward areas.

The army chief said soldiers were highly motivated and fully prepared to deal with any situation. “Our officers and men are the finest in the world and they will not only make the army proud but also the nation proud.”

Amid rising tensions with China in the Ladakh sector after provocative Chinese actions on the southern bank of Pangong Tso and India’s counter-manoeuvres to occupy key heights, chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat on 3 September said Pakistan could try to take advantage of any threat developing along India’s northern borders but warned that the Pakistani army would suffer heavy losses if it attempted any “misadventure”.

Rawat highlighted the threat of “coordinated action” by the militaries of China and Pakistan along the northern and western borders and stressed that the Indian armed forces were capable of handling the joint threat.

The CDS said India’s military strategy to deal with a twin challenge would be based on identifying a primary and a secondary front for conduction operations.

The Indian Army has rejigged its deployments at multiple points along the LoAC in eastern Ladakh, including the northern bank of Pangong Lake, to prevent the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from making aggressive manoeuvres to unilaterally alter the status quo in contested areas.

Tensions flared in the sensitive sector after the Indian Army occupied key heights on the southern bank of Pangong Lake to stop the PLA from grabbing Indian territory in a stealthy midnight move on 29 August.

Brigade commander-ranked officers from the two sides have held a series of talks to de-escalate tensions, but the dialogue has yielded no result with neither army prepared to make concessions.

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