The Army will hold on to its positions in eastern Ladakh — where it’s in a standoff with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) — till as long as required, General MM Naravane said on Tuesday. While expressing the hope that an amicable solution can be reached through “dialogue and discussion”, the Army chief said, “If talks are prolonged, so be it.
We are prepared to hold our ground, where we are, for as long as needed to achieve our national goals.” He was addressing the media on the eve of the Army Day. On reports that China has moved troops further away from the border in depth areas, General Naravane said not much should be read into the move as there is no reduction in deployment of personnel at the frontline.
“Training areas have been vacated by China in depth areas which lie at a distance ranging between 500-1500 km from the border. No decrease of strength on either side on friction areas has taken place,” he said. The Army is maintaining a vigil on the entire northern border, the chief said, adding that there are friction points with China not just in eastern Ladakh but in other sectors, too.
“No eyeballs-to-eyeballs deployment in eastern and central sector, but there are friction points. Rebalancing as per threat perception is carried out. Rebalancing to northern border was required and it has taken place.”