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  India   All India  12 Jan 2024  LAC with China is stable, yet sensitive: Army

LAC with China is stable, yet sensitive: Army

THE ASIAN AGE. | PAWAN BALI
Published : Jan 12, 2024, 12:32 am IST
Updated : Jan 12, 2024, 12:32 am IST

Gen. Pande said the force is keeping a close watch on the China-Bhutan border talks, which could have implications on India's security

Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande addresses a press conference ahead of Army Day, in New Delhi, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. (PTI)
 Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande addresses a press conference ahead of Army Day, in New Delhi, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. (PTI)

New Delhi: Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande on Thursday said the situation in the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China "is stable yet sensitive" and the Indian Army's operational preparedness is high to take on any contingency.

He said the force is keeping a close watch on the China-Bhutan border talks, which could have implications on India's security.

Calling the recent spur in terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri and Poonch "an issue of concern", Gen. Pande said the Indian Army is drawing tactical lessons from recent terror attacks and is working to improve human intelligence and outreach to locals.

He said officers and soldiers have been asked to maintain a high level of professionalism and respect towards human rights during its counter insurgency operations in the area.

Gen. Pande said that the Army has taken steps to prevent any alienation of locals and has adopted a village where some civilians, picked up by the forces for questioning, were later found dead.

Gen. Pande asserted that the Indian Army's counter insurgency operation in Rajouri and Poonch will continue in a relentless manner to bring back normalcy to the area at the earliest. 

On former Army chief M.M. Naravane's statement that the Agnipath scheme came like a 'bolt from the blue', Gen. Pande said the final framework of the scheme came after consultations and after taking into account whatever issues put across by armed forces. He said that from "here on we need to move forward."

"The situation on the northern border (with China) is stable yet sensitive. We continue to talk both at military and diplomatic level as per established procedure to find resolution to the balance issue which remain," said the Army chief, during his annual press conference.

He said there are adequate reserves to effectively deal with any contingency that may arise. He said, "Currently, our attempt is to continue talks (with China) to go back to the status quo ante which existed in the middle of 2020. Once that happens, then we can go back to look at larger issues."

The Army chief said the ceasefire with Pakistan at the Line of Control (LoC) is holding, though there are continued infiltration attempts.

"Last year, did witness overall drop in violence level. However, the area of Rajouri-Poonch did witness increased terrorist activities," said Gen. Pande.

He said proxy organisations operating in this area continue to get support from across the border.

The Army chief said terrorism in that area was eradicated in 2003 but with things getting normal in the Valley, adversaries are encouraging proxy tanzeems (organisations).

"In terms of terrorists which have been neutralised in 2023 in the entire state is 71. Out of this 51 are in the Valley and 20 in Rajouri and Poonch region. Own casualty has been seven in Kashmir and in Rajouri-Poonch have been 20," said Gen. Pande.

"Strengthening human intelligence is important and this is an area where we are clearly focusing on. This includes synegrising our effort with other agencies. Local support is crucial," he added.

The Army chief also said that 2024 will be year of technology adoption  for the Indian Army as part of  overall modernisation of the force.He also said that integration of Agniveers into the Army is moving forward well.

Gen. Pande described the situation near the Indo-Myanmar border as "concerning" and that some of the insurgent groups are feeling the pressure in the frontier region of that country and are attempting to enter Manipur.

Tags: army chief general manoj pande, line of actual control (lac), india-china ties
Location: India, Delhi