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Threat at LAC remains, says Indian Army chief General MM Naravane

New Delhi, January 12

Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane on Wednesday said that the threat levels at LAC (Line of Actual Control) “has not reduced”.

“Force levels are more or less the same,” he said addressing a press conference ahead of the Army Day (January 15).

Army Chief said: “We will continue to deal with PLA (People’s Liberation Army, China) in a firm and resolute manner. Necessary safeguards are in place to deal with any contingency”.

Speaking on the future along the LAC, the Army Chief mentioned three-step process that is disengagement of troops, de-escalation of tensions followed by de-induction of all troops, weapons and equipment.

“Till these steps are completed, we have to be remain there (the LAC), the Army Chief said.

On the northern borders, he said, the Army has highest level of operational preparedness even as a dialogue is on with China.

To a question on India’s response to the stand at the LAC, he said the Army response was robust to the PLA attempt to unilaterally change the status quo at LAC.

“Our capabilities have increased manifold at the northern borders,” he added. “We are in much better position than what we were an year and a half ago and are much better prepared to deal with any situation,” General Naravane said

A conflict, he said, was the last resort but if it happens we will emerge victorious. The only long-term solution to resolve the border question, unless we have a settled boundary this (difference of opinion at where is the LAC) will keep happening.

“There is no question that a status quo, as it exists today, can be altered with force,” he added.

The threat assessment at the northern borders has led to re-organisation and Army has re-aligned forces to ensure territorial integrity and it caters to major augmentation of PLA forces. “We have undertaken reorganisation and rebalancing of forces. Re-orientation of additional forces to the Northern Borders, has been carried out, while retaining our punitive strike capability, along the Western Front”, the Chief said. The crisis at the LAC has been used an opportunity to fast-track infrastructure development, undertake doctrinal reviews and make-up operational voids, through Emergency and Fast Track Procurements, he said.

The upgrade and development of infrastructure along the northern borders, is being carried out in a comprehensive manner, including roads and tunnels.

Along the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, the DGMOs understanding arrived at by both sides in February last year has witnessed marked improvement. However, concentration of terrorists—some 350 to 400—in launch pads and repeated infiltration attempts.

“We, on our part, have resolved to show ‘Zero Tolerance’ to terror:” he said.

On the incident of December 4 when civilian were killed in an operation of the Indian Army in Nagaland, the General said the incident is being thoroughly investigated. “Law of the land is paramount we will uphold that,” he added.

Formation of Battle Groups is progressing well, eh said adding that Theatre commands are the way forward for future battles.

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