India fully prepared for long haul with China in Eastern Ladakh; says Gen Naravane

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New Delhi: Chiefof Army Staff, General M M Naravane on Tuesday said that India is fully prepared to hold ground in eastern Ladakh against China for as long as it takes to meet national objectives.

“There is no doubt China and Pakistan together form a potent threat for India and the threat of collusivity cannot be wished away. The collusive threat is not just a strategic paper or talk…It’s manifesting itself on the ground,’’ he said while speaking ahead of the Army Day on January 15.

He expressed hope India and China would “amicably resolve” the ninth-month long military confrontation in eastern Ladakh, which has shown no signs of de-escalation till now, on the basis of “mutual and equal security” through diplomatic and military talks.

But at the same time, he asserted, Indian forces are maintaining a high level of operational readiness to deal with all eventualities along the 3,488-km LAC, from eastern Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.

“We are alert and ever-ready to meet any challenge,” Gen Naravane said, adding that the recent troop withdrawal from “depth areas” along the LAC did not amount to much because there was no reduction in force-levels on the frontline or “friction points” in eastern Ladakh.

Confirming this operational recalibration on Tuesday, Gen Naravane said, “Ladakh showed a certain amount of re-balancing to the northern borders was required. That is what we have put in place now.”