Ladakh Standoff: Chinese Troops Deployed In Considerable Numbers In Forward Areas, Says Army Chief
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Ladakh Standoff: Chinese Troops Deployed In Considerable Numbers In Forward Areas, Says Army Chief

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MM Naravane said this was a matter of concern for India amid de-escalation to end the standoff along the Line of Actual Control

Chief of Army Staff MM Naravane on Saturday said that there has been a considerable increase in the deployment of Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh and northern front, right up to India’s eastern command, ANI reported. However, he also said that Indian troops were “well poised” for any eventuality.

Naravane was on a two-day visit to eastern Ladakh to take stock of India’s operational preparedness on the Line of Actual Control.

“Definitely, there has been an increase in their deployment in the forward areas which remains a matter of concern for us,” he said.

He also said that the Indian troops were monitoring the situation across the Line of Actual Control. Based on the observations, the Indian Army is carrying out “matching developments” in terms of infrastructure and deployment, he added.

Naravane visited the Ladakh frontier within two months of the 12th round of the Corps Commanders meeting between the Indian Army and the Chinese military.

Both countries had said that they had constructive discussion. But they had not reached an agreement for disengagement at the friction areas of Gogra and Hot Springs in eastern Ladakh.

“Talks keep happening at all levels, 12 rounds have happened till now,” Naravane said on Saturday, according to India Today. “The 13th round is expected soon. I’m hopeful that the remaining points will be cleared soon.”

India and China have been locked in a border standoff since their troops clashed in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June last year. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clash. China put the number of casualties on its side at four.

On Pakistan Border & Afghanistan

Naravane said that there was no militant activity in India’s north-western border with Pakistan, until a recent infiltration attempt at the Line of Control, India Today reported.

On Tuesday, the Army killed a suspected militant and captured another following an infiltration bid in Uri town in Baramulla. Six Lashkar-e-Taiba militants had tried to enter Kashmir since September 18, the Army had said.

Naravane on Saturday said that the Indian Army was vigilant and had thwarted several infiltration bids in the past few weeks. “These infiltrations are not possible without the Pakistan Army’s knowledge,” he claimed.

As far as the situation in Afghanistan is concerned, he said that the country should not be used to foster and finance terrorism.

The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan on August 15 in a lightning offensive as the US and its allies pulled out its troops after a 20-year-war.

“It’s too early to talk but we are keeping an eye on the developments,” Naravane said. “The situation will be monitored. The armed forces continue to carry out periodic evaluation of threat perceptions.”

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