India won’t accept shifting of LAC, says Gen. Bipin Rawat

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

India will not accept any “shifting” of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and unprovoked tactical military actions “spiralling into a larger conflict cannot be discounted,” Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Bipin Rawat said on Friday, as India and China held the 8th round of Corps Commander talks at Chushul in attempts resolve the ongoing stand-off.


“Our posturing is unambiguous. We will not accept any shifting of the LAC. In the overall security calculus, border confrontations, transgressions, unprovoked tactical military actions spiralling into a larger conflict therefore cannot be discounted,” Gen. Rawat said at a webinar by the National Defence College as part of its diamond jubilee celebrations.


Talking of the situation in Eastern Ladakh, he said it remained tense and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was facing “unanticipated consequences” of its “misadventure” in Ladakh because of the Indian defence forces’ firm and strong response.

Also read: Interpreting the India-China conversations


The Corps Commander level talks began at 9.30 a.m., a defence source said. The Indian stand remained firm for disengagement across the entire Eastern Ladakh, the source stated.


After the developments on the South Bank of Pangong Tso (lake) on August, when the Indian Army occupied several dominating features that were lying vacant, China had been pressing for discussing South Bank first and other friction areas later.


This is the first round of talks with the Indian side led by Lt. Gen. P.G.K. Menon, who took over as the 14 Corps Commander on October 13. He attended the last two rounds of talks.


Gen. Rawat said India faced myriad external security challenges. Constant friction with two nuclear armed neighbours with whom India had fought wars, “increasingly acting in collusion, poses an omnipresent danger of regional strategic instability with potential for escalation, threatening our national integrity and strategic cohesion.”


Pak. proxy war


On Pakistan, Gen. Rawat said the “unabated proxy war” unleashed by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir accompanied by a “vicious” anti-India rhetoric on social media and efforts to create social disharmony within India have taken Indo-Pak relations to a new low. “The surgical strikes post Uri terror attack and the Balakot air strikes have delivered a strong message to Pakistan that it no longer enjoys the impunity of pushing terrorists across the Line of Control under the nuclear bogey,” he stated.


“The new Indian template has injected ambiguity and uncertainty in Pakistan, evident in its media reports, about Indian armed forces reaction, if Pakistan sponsored terrorists cross the threshold of tolerance,” he added.


IAF’s proactive actions

Addressing the webinar, Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria said the IAF’s proactive actions and strong posture were ‘instrumental’ in dissuading China from making any further attempts to alter status quo in Ladakh.


Both sides in close communication


Asked about the stand-off at the weekly briefing, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said both sides continue to maintain close communication at the military and diplomatic levels to achieve complete disengagement along the LAC.

Also read: The Hindu Explains | What are the agreements that govern India and China’s actions?


The two sides were guided by the leaders’ consensus to jointly safeguard peace and tranquillity in the border areas, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said. “We will continue to maintain the dialogue with the Chinese side to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution to the current situation along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh.”


With no progress in talks to resolve the stand-off along the disputed boundary in Eastern Ladakh, both sides have made preparations to maintain thousands of troops and equipment in extreme conditions in the high-altitude winter.


The stand-off has been ongoing since early May following ingress by PLA troops at several locations into Indian held areas. Several rounds of military and diplomatic talks have been held since, when India has maintained complete disengagement and de-escalation along the LAC and pullback. There was a violent clash at Galwan valley on June 15, in which 20 Indian personnel lost their lives, the first combat deaths on the LAC in over four decades. On South Bank, bullets were fired in the air by both sides, another first on the LAC in several decades.

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 6:11:00 AM |

Next Story