No reduction in PLA’s strength at LAC in Ladakh, confirms Indian army chief

New Delhi, November (KMS):Contrary to the tall claims by the Modi government about any improvement in hostile situation with China in Ladakh, Indian Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande has clearly stated that there has been no reduction in the People’s Liberation Army strength at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The General’s comments came at an event organized by the Chanakya Forum in New Delhi as he gave an update on the state of affairs at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) where Indian and Chinese troops have been at a standoff since early 2020.

The army chief maintained that they were not dropping the guard at the northern borders despite the transformational changes the army is taking — in both technology and procurement through the ‘Atmanirbhrata’ (self-reliance) route, and human resources via the new Agniveer recruitment scheme.

“Operational management at borders is unaffected despite these transformational changes,” clarified General Pande. Troop deployment and strength, sustenance, equipment, and supplies are all in the best capacity at borders, he added.

India and China had completed disengagement at relatively less important the Gogra-Hot Springs area in eastern Ladakh in September. However, there was no resolution of the important Depsang and Demchok areas.

In October, the two countries had agreed to hold the 17th round of senior commander-level talks at the earliest to “resolve the remaining issues along the LAC in the western sector in accordance with the existing bilateral agreements and protocols”.

“However, there has been no reduction in the PLA’s [People’s Liberation Army] strength at the LAC,” explained General Pande.

Further, the Indian army is ready to transition to a winter posture at the LAC, while having also ensured that they have adequate reserves to deal with any contingencies, he added.

“In the larger context, we need to carefully calibrate our actions at the LAC to safeguard both our interests and sensitivities,” he said.

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