India sticking to border protocols, says eastern army commander
The Indian army has observed some “development of infrastructure” on the Chinese side near the ALC, said the commander of the eastern army, General Manoj Pande, adding that this has led to a greater number of troops there now.
India is abiding by its commitment to mutually agreed protocols and understandings with China regarding the management of troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), but the situation could be revisited at the strategic level at the future, General Officer Commanding Eastern Command, Lt. Gen. Manoj Pande told reporters on Tuesday, October 19.
In terms of strategic management of the situation on LAC, India is abiding by the mutually agreed protocols and agreements, and that has been its efforts despite the type of action or response from the other side. “As a result of what happened and what we need to do going forward, I think something is being looked at on a broader level,” Pande said, further noting that “we are examining how our response should be” at the highest level. levels, the media said.
Following the clash between Indian and Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in June 2020, during which 20 Indian soldiers and at least four Chinese soldiers were killed, India had nevertheless given carte blanche to the soldiers. It was, however, a major shift in India’s approach in light of the five agreements and protocols signed between the two countries since 1993, according to a report by Indian Express.
Pande was briefing reporters on the ALC situation in the east at Rupa HQ 5th Mountain Division. His comments are made in the context of what happened during the 13th round of military talks in Ladakh between India and China held on October 10. In those talks, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China had not accepted the suggestions made by the Indian military and the talks ended in a stalemate, media said.
The situation in the western sector of the Indo-China border in eastern Ladakh continues to remain problematic as China has stalled its efforts to reach an agreement on the disengagement from Patrol Point (PP) 15 in Hot Springs. at this last meeting at corps commander level. , says the IE report. China also declined to discuss issues at Depsang Plains, where Chinese troops were preventing India from accessing its patrol boundaries, and at Demchok, some alleged civilians had pitched tents on the Indian side of the LAC.
However, Pande, as commander of the Eastern Army, which is responsible for 1,346 km LAC with China from Sikkim to Arunachal Pradesh, pointed out that there has only been an increase marginal PLA patrols in some areas over the past year and a half from the time of the 17-month standoff with China began in May 2020.
Read also : Amid India-China standoff in LAC, army raises aviation brigade in Assam
There has been “no noticeable change in their patrol pattern when talking about the whole of the eastern sector”, he pointed out. The army has observed some “development of infrastructure” on the Chinese side near the ALC, mainly in terms of housing, he said, adding that this has resulted in more troops are located or placed there now.
Although he did not address the issue of the 200 PLA troops transgressing across the LAC near the Yangtze at Tawang in late August, he said that “in terms of the number of patrols approaching the LAC from the other side, there was only a marginal increase”. active over the past two years. However, both sides were trying to build infrastructure closer to the LAC and this again leads to some problems sometimes, he admitted.
This construction of infrastructure near the LAC has also caused a marginal increase in border defense troops, he pointed out.
According to the Hindustan Times report, China has stepped up the scale and duration of its military exercises across the disputed Arunachal Pradesh border, after a standoff with India broke along the LAC in the sector of Ladakh. Reserve formations mobilized by the PLA last year are still deployed there, the eastern army commander said. Asked about the construction of border villages by China, he said it was of concern to them how China would use these villages for dual purposes – civilian and military.
Pande also explained how the protracted standoff with China prompted India to step up its surveillance capabilities along the LAC. A monitoring center in Rupa in Arunachal Pradesh studies surveillance information acquired from unmanned aerial vehicles, radar, ground cameras with night vision and satellite imagery. This helps India examine even “deep areas”, he said.
He recalled that the army has embarked on “a number of steps and measures”, the main one being to strengthen their surveillance, both near the LAC and in the deep zones.
Read also : Indian troops prepare as Ladakh de-escalation with China unlikely
Focusing on surveillance, he said India had introduced a number of niche technologies and increased its capabilities through surveillance drones, long-range unarmed aerial surveillance vehicles, better radar surveillance, better communication systems and night vision capability.
Technological developments in mobility, long-range strike capability and other areas also require us to change the concept of war combat and develop new structures. “Integrated battle groups are a logical step towards fighting and winning future wars,” he said.
Along with surveillance, India is also focusing on infrastructure development across the Eastern Command. Forward logistics bases and airbases were also being built, Pande said, adding that after what had happened over the past year and a half, this is something they are concerned about, which has been articulated at different levels.
However, he added that from the point of view of the Eastern Commands, their levels of readiness, their ability to react and deal with all eventualities are at very high levels.
As for the posture of the country, in normal times at the LAC, the posture of the army, their protocols and agreements were aimed at maintaining peace and tranquility. Therefore, from this point of view, the objective of India’s advancing troops along the LAC is not to show aggression, as India believes that friendly and cordial relations should be maintained.
Also, he added, if necessary, India must be properly prepared and the country’s contingency plans are ready. “If it gets worse, to say if we’re aggressive or defensive, when we’re making plans, both are taken care of,” he said.
On the situation in Doklam, where India and China were embroiled in a 73-day standoff in 2017, he said both sides were fully aware of each other’s sensitivities. And to add that “in terms of increase in staff, there has not been a major increase” and that “the infrastructure has remained what it was before”.