Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said on Thursday that developments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh add to the ongoing legacy challenges on India’s “active and disputed borders” on the Western and Eastern Front.
Speaking at the 116th annual session of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI), General Naravane said as far as Northern neighbour is concerned India has an outstanding border issue.
Responding to continued Chinese aggression at the border, he said: “We are well prepared to meet any misadventure that may occur as we have demonstrated in the past. Such kinds of incidents will continue to occur till such time a long term solution is reached, that is to have a boundary agreement… That should be the thrust of our efforts so that we have lasting peace along our northern borders.”
He also said that the unprecedented developments at the Northern Borders necessitated large scale resource mobilisation, orchestration of forces and immediate response, and all this in a Covid infested environment.
Concurrently, there was also a need to reinforce the efforts of the government in mitigating the ongoing health crisis.
He said that the Armed Forces contributed during this highly challenging and sensitive period towards the making of a resilient India.
“You would appreciate that each of the three Services — the Army, Navy and the Air Force — has its own set of challenges. Because of our peculiar environment of contested borders and an ongoing proxy war in the hinterland, the Indian Army is in active operations throughout the year, safeguarding the territorial integrity and sovereignty of our Nation,” General Naravane said.
Maintaining high levels of readiness and operational preparedness to meet contingencies, is therefore part of the Army’s culture, he stated.
However, a challenge like the Covid pandemic was unique and unprecedented. “We had to protect ourselves, only then could we discharge our duties and help others,” he said.
Strict Force Preservation measures were undertaken in the initial days of the pandemic, even as there was no dilution to the ongoing operational commitments.
As the magnitude and scale of the pandemic unfolded over time, we realised that these early actions to stay ahead of the curve, had a strong bearing on the future course of our operations.
The combined capabilities of the three Services were pressed into service to augment the national effort. The Indian Air Force undertook massive air evacuation of our citizens stranded in various countries while at the same time ferrying tons of medical supplies.