Long-term solution needed to end LAC dispute: Naravane

India, China should focus on finding long-term solution to boundary dispute: General Naravane

'That (resolving India-China boundary dispute) should be the thrust of our efforts so that we have lasting peace along our northern borders,' he said

Indian Army chief General MM Naravane. Credit: PTI Photo

Incidents like the ongoing military stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) will continue to happen as long as India and China are unable to resolve the dispute over the boundary between the two nations, Indian Army chief Gen M M Naravane said on Thursday.

Gen Naravane also said that the Indian Army was “well prepared” to respond to “any misadventure (by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army)” as it had demonstrated in the past.

“Such kind of incidents will continue to occur till such time a long-term solution is reached – that is to have a boundary agreement (between India and China),” the Chief of Army Staff said at the annual general meeting of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He was responding to a question on the ongoing India-China military stand-off in eastern Ladakh. “That (resolving India-China boundary dispute) should be the thrust of our efforts so that we have lasting peace along our northern borders.”

Also Read | China installs new shelters for troops near LAC in eastern Ladakh

Gen Naravane’s comment stressing on “long-term solution” of the boundary dispute between the two nations came just a day after Beijing’s envoy to New Delhi, Sun Weidong, said that India and China should build on recent successes in mutual withdrawal of troops from some of the face-off points along the LAC and “need to meet each other halfway to move the situation towards stability”.

Sun said that India and China should create a conducive situation so that the focus could be shifted “from urgent dispute settlement to regular management and control, so as to jointly safeguard the peace and tranquillity of the border area”.

“Developments along the LAC have added to the ongoing legacy challenges on India’s active and disputed borders on the western and eastern fronts,” Gen Naravane said.

Also Read | Don’t shift goalposts, confuse border management on LAC: Indian envoy to China

The stand-off along the LAC in eastern Ladakh had started in April-May 2020 after China had deployed a large number of troops along its disputed boundary with India in eastern Ladakh, apparently to push the LAC westward – thus flouting the border peace pacts signed by the two neighbouring nations in 1993 and 1996.

It had reached a flashpoint with the Galwan Valley clash on June 15, 2020, when the Indian Army had lost 20 of its soldiers and the Chinese PLA lost four of its personnel. After long negotiations over months, the two sides mutually withdrew frontline troops from the northern and the southern banks of Pangong Tso as well as from the face-off point at Gogra Post earlier this year. But the stand-off remained unresolved in other locations along the LAC, even as one-and-a-half years have passed since it began.

Gen Naravane said that the Indian Army’s “immediate response” to the deployment of troops by the Chinese PLA had required large-scale mobilisation of troops, in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said that the Indian Army was fully ready to neutralise any terror threat from across its Line of Control with Pakistan.

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