LAC standoff | China border situation under control, says Army chief

A lot of ‘disengagement’ has happened, says Gen. Naravane.

June 13, 2020 12:39 pm | Updated June 19, 2020 06:26 pm IST - Dehradun

Gen. Naravane said the ongoing dialogue will sort out all the perceived differences between the two countries.

Gen. Naravane said the ongoing dialogue will sort out all the perceived differences between the two countries.

Troops of India and China were “disengaging” in a phased manner from the stand-off areas along the border following a series of ground talks, and a lot of disengagement had happened in the Galwan river valley, Army chief Gen. Manoj Naravane said on Saturday.

This is the first time the Army has officially acknowledged that stand-offs had taken place at several areas, including Galwan river.

Also read | Beijing think-tank links scrapping of Article 370 to LAC tensions

“The situation along our borders with China is under control. We are having a series of talks that started with Corps Commander-level talks on the 6th of this month. This has been followed up by a number of meetings of the local commanders of equivalent rank. As a result of this, a lot of disengagement has taken place,” Gen. Naravane said, speaking to the media at the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun.

“Both sides are disengaging in a phased manner. We have started from the north from the area of the Galwan river, where a lot of disengagement has happened,” he stated.

Earlier, the Army chief responded on May 14 over two scuffles at Pangong Tso on May 5 and Naku La on May 9 and stated they were a result of “aggressive behaviour on both sides” and had been resolved at the local level.

Also read | India-China: the line of actual contest

Stating that it had been very fruitful dialogue and the situation would keep improving further, Gen. Naravane added, “We are hopeful that through this continued dialogue we are having, all perceived differences that we have will be set to rest.”

After the month-long stand-off at several locations on the border, at the Corps Commander-level talks last week, both sides mutually agreed on five locations of conflict — Patrolling Point (PP) 14, 15, 17A, North bank of Pangong Tso and Chushul — and also agreed on partial disengagement from some of these places. Army sources stated that at Galwan area, limited “disengagement” had begun earlier and was under way in Gogra and at PP 15 and 17A.

Since the June 6 talks, two rounds of Major General-level talks were held to discuss further disengagement. The stand-off at Pangong Tso remains a major issue of concern and is expected to take longer to be resolved.

Also read | Efforts on to resolve LAC situation at earliest, says India

‘Tough times’

General Naravane also said that the country is passing through difficult times and its safety and honour depend on the ability of its young officers as military leaders.

Addressing gentlemen cadets at the Indian Military Academy, Gen. Naravane said they are being commissioned as officers into the army under the most daunting of circumstances and the high standards of their military training will help them overcome the challenges lying in store for them.

The parade saw a total of 423 cadets being commissioned into the army including 333 from the country and 90 from friendly foreign countries.

“These are difficult times for the country. Its safety, honour and respect depends on your abilities as military leaders. You have to live up to the expectations of your countrymen. You have to ensure that whatever you do is for their welfare,” he said.

The army chief said there are no good or bad regiments but only good officers. “Become one with your men. Win their trust and affection and they will win battles for you,” Gen. Naravane said.

Also read | Changing balance across LAC trigger for stand-off, says China expert Taylor Fravel

He asked the gentlemen cadets to throw themselves into their new role as commissioned officers with passion but also be compassionate towards their men.

“When the going gets tough and all seems lost, it is the spirit of your men that helps you win,” he said.

He said the gentlemen cadets who are taking their first step as commissioned officers will have to take decisions in the tactical and operational domain as well as resolve ethical issues and they will have only their conscience to guide them. “In such critical moments let the core values enshrined in the preamble of the constitution of India be your guiding light,” the Army Chief said.

‘No discrimination’

Asking them to rise above petty considerations of caste, creed and religion, he said the army does not discriminate.

Apart from containing the external threats you may also have to defang internal forces out to destabilise the country.

He said the precise drill movements of the cadets had convinced him they will do their respective countries proud.

“In the autumn of your careers what will matter is not the position your finally attain but how honourably you have served your nation,” he said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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