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If Chinese Are There To Stay, So Are We: Army Chief Naravane On LAC

(This was originally posted in India Today)

At the India Today Conclave 2021, Chief of the Army Staff General MM Naravane said it is a matter of concern that the Chinese troops are building up the infrastructure and troops at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). He said, “If the Chinese are there to stay, we are there to stay too.” “It is a matter of concern that there is a large scale build-up taking place….there has been infrastructural build-up by the Chinese side and that means they are there to stay…If they are there to stay, we are there to stay too. The build up on our side and developments on our side, I would say are as good as what the PLA has done,” General MM Naravane said on Saturday.

“If they continue to stay through the second winter, …we’ll have to keep a close eye on their troop build up…” said General MM Naravane. Responding to a question about the India-China standoff along the LAC in Ladakh, General MM Naravane said that recently, “the MEA spokesperson had clearly mentioned that whatever has happened on the northern border is because of the massive build-up by the Chinese and in the non-adherence of the protocols which were laid down in the past, which was the reason for the standoff and what all happened subsequently.” General MM Naravane was referring to the clashes that erupted between the Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh’s Galwan valley in June last year. As many as 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the incident.

Not nature, but character of war is changing: Army chief Naravane

General MM Naravane also spoke about the changing nature and character of war and how the Indian Army is preparing to deal with it in the future. When asked if the nature of war is changing, General MM Naravane said it is not nature, but the character of war is changing. “There’s no doubt that the character of war is changing. Although the nature of war remains constant. The nature of war is, of course, to impose your will on the enemy. But the manner in which it is done, the character of wars is always changing,” General MM Naravane said on Saturday.

General MM Naravane also shed light on how the Army is preparing for the war. He spoke about technology and also said that “unsettling borders” holds importance. “As we go ahead, technology is again going to play an important part in how we prosecute the wars of the future. But for doing that, we also have to study the wars of the past and whatever conflicts are going on,” General MM Naravane said.

“We have to figure it ourselves what will be the contours of any future conflict. That will be the bigger challenge…what the future will be like and in order to deal with them, what is the way we have to go about building our capabilities and capacities,” General MM Naravane said. “One thing emerging clearly is that the wars of the future will be more distant, more stunned of weapons and more over the horizon strikes, rathers that physical conflicts engagement we have been used to in the past. Also I would like to re-emphasis, the unsettled borders on our west and our north. It is good to be talking about technology, but the unsettled borders makes it very necessary to also have boots on the ground,” General MM Naravane said.

On Indian Army deploying woman officers in combat

General MM Naravane said the Indian Armed forces always had an inclusive policy when it came to admitting women in the armed forces. “As [far as] the Armed forces and the Indian Army in particular [is concerned], we don’t discriminate on any ground whatsoever, whether it be language, religion or gender. We have a very inclusive policy in this regard,” General MM Naravane said when asked if the Army is preparing for the time when women will be sent in combat.

“As far as there is the question of admitting women or girl cadets or lady cadets, it’s into the NDA’s concern. He never had any reservation on that. In fact, various arrangements are required… The creation of additional squadrons and the creation of additional infrastructure are already in progress. We are very much in the way of admitting women in the NDA,” General MM Naravane said.

On possibility of Afghan fighters entering J&K

“When the previous Taliban regime was in power, that time, we had terrorists of Afghan origin in J&K [Jammu and Kashmir]. There is reason to believe that the same thing might happen once again. Once the situation in Afghanistan stabilises, we could see the infiltration of Afghan fighters in J&K. We are prepared for any such eventuality. We have strong counter-infiltration built,” General MM Naravane said.

On attacks on civilians in J&K

“There has been a spurt of these terror-related incidents in the last month and a half that has caused concern, especially the targeting of innocent civilians. This is bad in itself… It is not understandable why they are targeting innocent people who are doing their daily jobs. This is not acceptable at all…This shows their psyche that they only want murder and mayhem, they don’t want normalcy. They don’t want people to lead normal lives. The people will revolt…,” said General MM Naravane.

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India Today

Kartik Sud

I am working as a News Author With the DefenceXP network, Observing LOC and LAC

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