Fri, 22 Jan 2021

New Delhi [India], January 12 (ANI): Asserting that there has been no change in status quo in Eastern Ladakh, Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Tuesday said that his force is ready for any eventuality but expressed hope that India-China would be able to reach an agreement to resolve the border issue.

"As far as the situation in Eastern Ladakh is concerned, the situation is same as prevailing last year. There has been no change in the status quo. As far as the resolution of the present situation is concerned, we are hoping that based on the principle of mutual and equal security, we would be able to reach an agreement, which would result in disengagement and de-escalation, disengagement from the friction areas, and once de-escalation has been achieved then an overall de-escalation and a reduction in strength of the troops in the forward areas," the Army chief said.

"Talks (between India and China) will be used to address the issues on the basis of mutual and equal security. I am confident that we would be able to resolve the issue," he added.

General Naravane said that there is increased cooperation between China and Pakistan in both military and non-military sectors and the "two-front war" threat is something that we should be prepared to deal with, he added.

The Army Chief said the security situation is definitely improved manifold as far as the north-east is concerned.

"In Nagaland, except for one group NSCN-K is not in the ceasefire but with the surrender of top leadership which was hiding in Myanmar, we are hoping they will also rejoin the process," he said.

"There was no violence in Mizoram. In Manipur, there were one or two groups that were involved. Most of Assam is quiet. So overall, the situation in the north-east has improved by leaps and bounds over the last one or two years," Naravane said.

While speaking on Afghanistan, Naravane said: "As far as Afghanistan is concerned, there are no plans whatsoever to commit boots on the ground and neither do we envisage such a scenario developing in the near future."The Army chief underlined that all those who have contributed to upholding the security and sanctity of the country, their acts will be recognised in some way or the other.

"As far as honours and awards are concerned, it is not just for officers and jawans who are martyred at Galwan but throughout the past year, there have been many gallant actions carried out by our men," he said.

"All these actions, citations have been received and they will be evaluated on their merits and recommendations to honour all those who have performed acts of gallantry and valour have been forwarded to the ministry for final approval," he added.

Naravane said that terror continues abated in Jammu and Kashmir as far as internal security duty.

"Although the situation in the hinterland has improved, it has not reached a level in which we can even contemplate moving troops out of UT of Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

The Army chief informed that he had initiated a proposal last month that women officers can be recruited to Army aviation.

"We are thinking that in the next course in July 2021, we will admit women officers for pilot training," he added. (ANI)

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