Reviewing the security situation in Leh amid the border standoff with China, Army Chief Gen MM Naravane on Friday said that the army has conducted precautionary deployment and the morale of the jawans is high. Naravane landed in Leh on Thursday and carried out a comprehensive review of the security situation in the eastern Ladakh region.
Tensions flared up in eastern Ladakh after China unsuccessfully attempted to occupy Indian territory in the southern bank of Pangong lake last week when the two sides were engaged in diplomatic and military talks to resolve the festering border row. “The situation at Line of Actual Control (LAC) is sensitive. We have taken some steps to ensure that we are prepared,” the Army Chief said.
General Naravane maintained that India will maintain a status quo in the region and will resolve the issue through talks (with China). “We will maintain the status quo. We are engaged in talks both at military and diplomatic level. I am sure that all issues can be sorted by talks,” Naravane added.
On Thursday, Gen Naravane held a series of meetings with top commanders about the evolving situation on his two-day visit to Ladakh as well as on India’s overall combat readiness to deal with any eventualities, military sources said. The Army Chief also said that the army is observing what the Chinese have done (border standoff) at the LAC and the army is prepared accordingly.
The Army Chief also visited a key forward location where he interacted with troops. “Gen Naravane carried out a comprehensive review of the security scenario in eastern Ladakh,” said a source.
India has rushed in additional troops and weapons to the sensitive region following China’s provocative movements. At a weekly media briefing on Thursday, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the border tension in Ladakh over the past four months is a “direct result” of Chinese actions aimed at effecting unilateral change in the status quo of the region.
Srivastava asserted that the only way forward to resolve it was through negotiations. On Monday, the Indian Army said the Chinese military carried out “provocative military movements” to “unilaterally” change the status quo on the southern bank of Pangong lake on the intervening night of August 29 and 30 but the attempt was thwarted by the Indian troops.