The Army headquarters has issued fresh instructions to field formations along the China border to preserve peace while maintaining the sanctity of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between the two countries.
A senior officer said the instructions, issued in the wake of the Wuhan summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, have explicitly instructed that there should not be any “aggressive behaviour at young officer level.” It has also instructed the field formations that all their conduct should be within the protocol laid out in 2005.
According to the protocol signed between the two sides on “Modalities for the Implementation of Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field Along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas” on April 11, 2005, there is a set conduct prescribed to ensure peace and tranquillity. “This was being violated with impunity in recent times,” an officer said.
The protocol says if border personnel come to a face-to-face situation because of differences over the alignment of LAC they shall “exercise self-restraint and take all necessary steps to avoid an escalation of the situation.”
As result of violations of the protocol there have been fisticuffs, stone throwing and other such rowdy behaviour along the border in recent years, threatening the long-held peace along the 4,056 km border.
According to Army sources, field formations have also been instructed that they “should not” contribute to any unnecessary events along the border.”
Meanwhile, sources said National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Army Chief General Bipin Rawat met on Wednesday to review steps to be undertaken in the wake of the Wuhan summit between Mr. Modi and Mr. Xi during which the two leaders agreed to issue “strategic guidance to their respective militaries” to improve the situation along the border.
The post-Wuhan initiatives to improve the situation was also visible on Tuesday, when to mark the Labour Day, a Special Border Personnel meeting was held at the Chusul-Moldo point on the Chinese side. An Army officer said troops and families of both armies were part of the celebrations which were conducted in “an atmosphere of bonhomie and friendship.”
The officer said such meetings “indicate the upward trend of relations between the two nations and building of trust between the two armies.”