China, Pakistan pose potent risk, says Military Chief


Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 12

Army Chief General MM Naravane on Tuesday said he was hopeful of a positive and amicable solution from the military-to-military talks with China, but was ready to meet any challenge as the ‘operational preparedness’ was of high order.

Zero tolerance to terror activities

  • On being asked about mobilisation by China in 2020, he said: “We were ready. They had the first mover advantage in May and we had the first mover advantage in August.”
  • On Pakistan, he said it continued to embrace terrorism as a state policy. “We have zero tolerance to terror and reserve the right to respond at the place and time chosen by us.”

“We will maintain our current positions and there was no reduction of troops from either side along the Line of Actual Control (LAC),” he said.

He was addressing a press conference in New Delhi ahead of the Army Day (January 15).

On the potential of the two-front war, he said: “Pakistan and China form a potent collusive threat and that is part of our strategic calculus and planning when we are formulating our plans,” the Army Chief said.

Earlier, he said the Army was alert all along the northern borders and not just in Ladakh.

“We are alert and ready to meet the challenge”. The ninth round of talks was awaited and he hoped that an amicable solution through talks would be reached. “I am hopeful of a positive situation, but we are ready to meet any eventuality and all logistics like clothing and habitat (housing) have been taken care of. Our operational preparedness is of high order,” he added.

His words come even as troops of India and China are locked in intense military standoff in Eastern Ladakh since April-May 2020.

On being asked about mobilisation by China in the summer of 2020, he said it was nothing new, they came for usual training areas. “We were ready. They had the first mover advantage in May and we had the first mover advantage in August.” On Pakistan, he said it continued to embrace terrorism as a state policy. “We have zero tolerance to terror and reserve the right to respond at the place and time chosen by us.”

The Army was in the middle of restructuring and transforming from manpower to technology intensive force. “We are looking at block chain, big data, artificial intelligence and quantum computing, and fully committed to various integrated commands. We will calibrate for smooth transition,” he said.



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