THE basic issue with China remains the resolution of the boundary question but Beijing’s intent has been to keep it “alive”, Army chief General Manoj Pande said on Monday, asserting that Indian troops are adequately deployed to deal with any situation along the frontier.
General Pande said the Army’s aim is to restore the status quo ante prior to April 2020 and that guidance has been given to the troops deployed along the border to remain firm and resolute in their tasks.
The Army chief told a group of journalists that Indian troops continue to hold “important positions” along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and that the Army has a “robust posture” to confront any situation. “The basic issue remains the resolution of the border. What we see is that China’s intent has been to keep the boundary issue alive,” he said.
“What we need as a country is a ‘whole of nation’ approach and in the military domain, this is to prevent and counter any attempt to alter the status quo at the LAC,” he added.
General Pande, who took the reins of the Army over a week ago, said the diplomatic and military talks between the two sides resulted in the disengagement of troops on the north and south banks of Pangong Tso, Gogra and Patrolling Point 14 in Galwan, and added, “We hope to find resolution through dialogue in remaining areas.” “Our aim is to restore status quo ante prior to April 2020,” he said.
The eastern Ladakh face-off began on May 4-5 in 2020. India has been insisting on the restoration of the status quo ante prior to the stand-off.
The aim is to establish trust and tranquillity on both sides but it cannot be a “one-way affair”, he said.
“Our troops continue to hold important positions along the LAC. As far as the situation is concerned, guidance given to the troops is to remain firm and resolute in the task they are undertaking and prevent attempts to change the status quo,” he said.