The Indian Army is keeping a constant eye on activities by the Chinese military including a drill it is conducting in its training areas near Ladakh region and there were no ”violations” by either side since the implementation of the disengagement in Pangong lake areas, Chief of Army Staff Gen M M Naravane said on Wednesday. Gen Naravane also expressed hope that both sides will be able to make forward movement in resolving issues in other areas.
The Chief of the Army Staff said the disengagement has been cordial so far, but added that Indian troops are maintaining an effective vigil to deal with any eventualities along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh. Asked about a military drill by the Chinese Army in their depth areas, he said Indian troops are keeping a constant eye on it.
”We have seen movements in training areas. It is an annual exercise. They come for training. We also go to training areas. We have been keeping a constant eye on it. We have forces along the LAC and they are adequate to deal with any action or activity,” Gen Naravane told India Today channel. He said there were no ”transgressions and violations” since the disengagement process took place in February and both sides are observing it in letter and spirit.
”What is important is that we are talking. And what is important to know is that between two phases, there are periods where the trust has to be built up. I think the trust has (been) built..because of that trust, maybe we will be able to make forward movement in other areas where issues are still to be resolved,” he told CNN-News18. The Chief of Army Staff said India will maintain its enhanced presence on the northern front till de-escalation is achieved.
India and China were locked in a military standoff at multiple friction points in eastern Ladakh since early May last year but they have completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the North and South banks of Pangong lake in February following a series of military and diplomatic talks. The two sides are now engaged in talks to extend the disengagement process to the remaining friction points.
There was no visible forward movement in disengagement of troops in the remaining friction points as the Chinese side did not show flexibility in their approach on it at the 11th round of military talks with the Indian Army on April 9. About the coronavirus crisis, Gen Naravane said the Army is fully ready to extend all possible assistance in India’s fight against the pandemic ”We are an Army of the people, for the people,” he said. ”There is no difference in mobilising for the pandemic. This is because from time to time we also assist in dealing with other natural calamities. We are quite well geared up. All three branches of armed forces have been working collectively,” he said.
Naravane said 90 percent of the forces’ personnel have been administered the second dose of coronavirus vaccine and soon it will touch 95 percent.
First Published: IST