June 2021 News

Top Army commanders review India's overall security challenges; situation along LAC

17 June 2021

New Delhi: Top commanders of the Army on Thursday carried out a comprehensive review of India's overall security challenges including in eastern Ladakh as well as other sensitive areas along the Line of Actual Control with China on the first day of a two-day conference, people familiar with the development said. The commanders also deliberated on the ongoing ceasefire between Indian and Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir besides reviewing the security scenario in the union territories, they said. They said Chief of Army Staff Gen MM Naravane and top commanders of the nearly 1.3 million-strong force were briefed India's combat readiness in eastern Ladakh where Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a bitter standoff for over one year. India and China were locked in a military standoff at multiple friction points in eastern Ladakh since early May last year. However, the two sides completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the North and South banks of Pangong lake in February following a series of military and diplomatic talks. The two sides are now engaged in talks to extend the disengagement process to the remaining friction points. 'All operational matters relating to India's security preparedness were discussed at the conference,' said one of the sources about the deliberations at the conference being held in Delhi. The sources said the deliberations on ways to further enhance India's combat prowess will figure in Friday's deliberations. The conference took place two days after the first anniversary of the deadly clashes in Galwan valley in which 20 Indian soldiers laid down their lives while defending the country's territorial integrity in the face of unprecedented Chinese aggression. In February, China officially acknowledged that five Chinese military officers and soldiers were killed in the clashes with the Indian Army though it is widely believed that the death toll was higher. The conference is being attended by all Army Commanders, Principal Staff Officers (PSOs) of the Army headquarters and other senior officers. 'The Commanders are carrying out a comprehensive review of the security challenges facing the nation,' said another person. Last month, Army Chief Gen Naravane had said that there can be no de-escalation without complete disengagement at all friction points in eastern Ladakh and that the Indian Army is prepared for all contingencies in the region. Gen Naravane also said that India is dealing with China in a 'firm' and 'non-escalatory' manner to ensure the sanctity of its claims in eastern Ladakh, and that it was even open to initiating confidence-building measures. The people familiar with the development said the commanders also deliberated on matters relating to human resource management and promotions in the Army. The Army commanders are also expected to deliberate on various reform measures recommended by separate internal committees, they said.