NEW DELHI: Army chief General M M Naravane on Monday expressed hope that India and China will “settle” the continuing military confrontation in eastern Ladakh through further negotiations.
“Legacy issues and differences need to be resolved through mutual consent and dialogue and not by unilateral actions,” said Gen Naravane, speaking at an online symposium of top military officers from Australia, Japan, Indonesia and Singapore.
Towards this end, said the Army chief, the recent comments by the Chinese ambassador to India Sun Weidong “augur well” for the future of bilateral relations.
The Chinese envoy had said the two countries need to “correctly understand” each other to “avoid any strategic miscalculations”, enhance mutual trust through dialogue and jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas.
Gen Naravane, on his part, said the troop disengagement on both sides of the Pangong Tso in February was a “positive development” along the Line of Actual Control, where the two countries have “differing perceptions on the alignment of the land borders”. But as was earlier reported by TOI, the 11th round of corps commander-level talks on April 9 failed to register any breakthrough, with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) refusing to even complete the stalled troop disengagement at Gogra, Hot Springs and Demchok.
Consequently, the blocking of Indian patrols in the strategically-located Depsang Plains and the overall de-escalation along the frontier, where the rival troops are still amassed against each other, is still nowhere on the horizon.
As for Pakistan, Gen Naravane said the recent border ceasefire between the two armies, which had led to no exchange of fire along the otherwise volatile Line of Control for the last two months, also “bodes well for the future” of bilateral ties.
India has over time developed various mechanisms to address the challenges along the two long unsettled borders with China and Pakistan and move forward.
“I wish to reiterate that India looks to maintain peace and harmony with all its neighbours and in the region. Maintenance of peace and tranquility requires joint efforts. All nations need to come together to uphold the rules-based order, respect International Laws and norms, and develop mutual respect for each other,” said Gen Naravane.
The changing character of war is throwing up new challenges for the armed forces the world over. “Our own region is witness that wars are no longer confined to the customary hard-core kinetics but being increasingly contested in the ambiguous grey zone,” he said.
“Geostrategic spaces are being constricted and geostrategic realities are being altered without physical battles. Conflicts are also steadily moving to the new domains of space, cyber and informatics,” he added
Courtesy – timesofindia.com