Desire for peace borne out of strength, should not be mistaken, says Army Chief

The Indian Army’s desire for peace is derived from its “inherent strength” and should “not be mistaken” otherwise, Army Chief General MM Naravane said on the eve of Army Day, underscoring that the force was prepared to counter any attempts to change the status quo along the country’s borders.

“We stand firm to counter any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo along our border,” he said on Friday, against the backdrop of an ongoing standoff with China along the LAC. “Our desire for peace and tranquility is borne out of our inherent strength, it should not be mistaken otherwise,” he said.

The armies of India and China have been locked in a military standoff along the LAC since May 2020. The two sides have held 14 rounds of military-level talks to, with the latest held this Wednesday, to resolve the issue.

Naravane said that the Army has “instituted additional safeguard to prevent any further attempt at military brinksmanship” and “we believe that differences in perceptions and disputes are best resolved through established norms, based on the principle of equal and mutual security”.

The talks between India and China have so far resulted in disengagement at Galwan Valley, the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area. Progress is yet to be made in Hot Springs, Depsang Plains and Demchok along the LAC.

General Naravane said safeguards to counter state-sponsored terrorism too have been strengthened — both along the “borders and the hinterland”.

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