Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane on Wednesday said that India and China have been working on “mutual disengagement” in Eastern Ladakh and there have been positive developments, but the “threat” is very much high.
“Disengagement has taken place in Ladakh at multiple locations. Threat has by no means reduced and force level are more or less the same and from our side has been enhanced. The threat assessment has led to realignment of forces: Army chief Gen Naravane said while addressing the annual press conference.
“Army’s response to Chinese attention to unilateral change the status quo was robust.. we took the holistic view of the entire northern front. We did augmentation of forces, weapons, infrastructure. Additional 25,000 troops have gone into the area. Facilities for the storage for arms etc. all of these are efforts that have been placed. We are in much better position and much better prepared, he added.
While answering the question of the talks between India and china for the complete disengagement in Eastern border, the army chief said that he is hopeful that talks will resolve all pending issues.
“Talks ongoing for a long time. It shows we can resolve difference through dialogue. We have to keep talking and understand each other’s viewpoint. Differences keep getting narrowed down and that is how we reach a resolution. Confident that going ahead we would be able to resolve the standoff in eastern Ladakh,” he said.
On China Building Infrastructure in Arunachal Pradesh
Army chief said, “This arises because LAC is demarcated and there are different perceptions as to where the border actually lies. As long as border issues remain unresolved, such kinds of issues will keep cropping up”.
“Long-term solution is to resolve the border question rather than this becoming point of difference & a pinprick in our bilateral relations…We’re well poised all along our borders&there is no question that any status quo, as it exists today, will ever be altered,” he added.
On Demilitarization In Siachin
The army chief while answering the question on demilitarization along the Siachin glacier said that Pakistan has to accept the Actual ground Position Line (AGPL) before Indian army think of any such step.
“Accept AGPL (actual ground position line) then we can demilitarize. This is the first step Pakistanis should do,” says the Army Chief.