Situation along LAC stable, need to keep very close watch: Army Chief

New Delhi: The situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China is stable but there is a need to keep a very close watch on it, Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande said on Friday amid the nearly three-year-long border row in eastern Ladakh.

In an interactive session at the India Today Conclave, Gen Pande said the Indian Army has a robust deployment of troops all along the LAC besides having adequate reserves to deal with any contingencies.

“Overall, I would say that the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is stable but we need to keep a very close watch on the situation as it develops,” he said.

“As far as the deployment of forces by the adversary is concerned, there has been no significant reduction in the deployment. There is a great focus on modernization of forces, especially those deployed opposite the LAC,” Gen Pande said.

He said both sides are engaged in talks to resolve the remaining issues in eastern Ladakh.

“Till the time a resolution happens, our deployment of forces, our alertness level will continue to remain of a very high level,” General Pande said.

He said the infrastructure development on the “other side is coming about at a very hectic pace, be it the road infrastructure in terms of the highways which run along the LAC, be it the upgrading of airfields and heliports”.

Gen Pande said these are some major developments which need to be taken note of specially in the context of the adversary’s ability to mobilise troops.

“As far as what we are doing, I think we have a robust deployment all along the LAC and all three sectors. I must mention that we have adequate reserves to deal with any contingencies,” he said.

“With the infusion of new technology and new weapon systems, our capability development is an ongoing endeavour. Equally we are focussing on infrastructure development, especially forward area roads, and helipads etc,” he said.

He said the Indian Army’s preparedness levels are high.

“From the winter months, now we are transiting into the summer months and we have undertaken minor changes as you would do as summer posture,” Gen Pande added.

Asked about the lessons learnt from the Russia-Ukraine war, he said land-centric warfare will remain a decisive domain, especially in India’s case where it has contested land borders.

The notion of victory will remain land centric in our context, he said.

On the Agnipath recruitment scheme, the Army Chief said it is a win-win policy not just for the military but for the society and country at large.

Calling Agnipath a transformational reform, Gen Pande acknowledged that getting the implementation right is key. Issues like training the recruits in a short frame of time is critical.

“The initial feedback that I get from the regimental sectors, the youth that have come up are very enthusiastic and energetic. So I think that’s a very good sign,” he said. (Agencies)

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