Situation Along Sino-Indian Border Under Control But “Unpredictable,” Says Army Chief Ahead of Army Day January 15

By Special Correspondent

Indian Army, Top Stories

New Delhi: The situation along the Sino-Indian border which has been tense in the wake of clashes between the troops of the two nations, Army Chief General Manoj Pande January 12 said the situation along the northern borders with China is under control but remains ‘unpredictable’.

Addressing the media, ahead of Army Day on January 15, he said five of the seven thorny issues between the two armed forces have been presented on the table.

“Though unpredictable, the situation at the northern borders is stable and under control. We have been able to resolve five of the seven issues on the table in the talk as our preparedness is of very high level and we have enough reserves to deal with any contingency,” General Pande said.

“There is a slight increase in the number of troops [by China] opposite our Eastern command. We are keeping a close watch on the movements,” he said.

Giving details of the various projects undertaken by the Army in the last five years, General Pande said, “The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has built roads spanning 2,100 km along our northern borders and 7,450-metre bridges in the last five years.”

Highlighting some of the work at the frontier highway in Arunachal Pradesh that are currently underway, he said, “Habitats for the deployment of 500 tanks and 400 guns have been created in the Eastern Ladakh sector by the Army. Habitats for 55,000 troops have also been created.”

“This Army Day is special as it is also the 75th year of India’s Independence. We are also fully aligned with the future national vision. We have decided to undertake a transformation,” he said.

General Pande said women officers might be commissioned soon into the Indian Army’s Corps of Artillery, as a proposal to that effect has been forwarded to the government for its assent.

“We also have the Army Martial Arts Routine which will help in dealing with combat situations. It is an amalgamation of different martial arts in the country,” he added.

He  stressed on the need to ‘remain alert’, saying the ceasefire has held well on the Pakistan border but the neighbour’s support to terror infrastructure and terror groups was still persistent. “The ceasefire is holding well on the Pakistan border but the support to terror infrastructure and terror groups still remains. There is a marked reduction in the parameters of violence. Hence. we have to remain alert,” he said.

The Army chief said peace has returned to most of the states in the Northeast.

General Pande said they are fully aligned with the future national vision and have “decided to undertake transformation”.

Without naming China, the Army Chief further said they have been able to prevent all attempts to change the status quo (on the LAC) in a robust manner. “In a firm and resolute manner with our soldiers deployed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), we have been able to prevent any attempts by (the) adversary to unilaterally change the status quo in a robust manner,” General Pande said.

On Army troops posted in areas near the “sinking” town of Joshimath in Uttarakhand which is close to the Sino-Indian border, General Pande said some Indian troops have been relocated  from areas surrounding Uttarakhand’s ‘sinking’ town of Joshimath.

“We remain prepared to relocate more units if required, but our operational preparedness remains intact,” General Pande said on the state of the army’s operations. “There has been no impact on our readiness,” the  Army Chief said.

Though he did not spell out the details on the movement of soldiers, but said more than 20 military installations around Joshimath have sustained “medium to minor damage”.