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Army Chief Says India Fully Prepared for the Long Term in East Ladakh with China, Even As Forces Rebalance With LAC | India News

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NEW DELHI: India is fully prepared to stand firm in eastern Ladakh against China for as long as it takes to meet national objectives, the army chief said Tuesday, even as its 13 lakh force rebalances toward the Line. of Royal Control as main against the decades-long focus on Pakistan.
“There is no doubt that China and Pakistan together form a potent threat to India and the threat of collusion cannot be ruled out. The collusive threat is not just a document or a strategic talk … It is manifesting itself on the ground, ”said General MM Naravane, speaking ahead of Army Day on January 15.
He expressed hope that India and China will “amicably resolve” the ninth month military standoff in eastern Ladakh, which has shown no signs of abating so far, on the basis of “mutual and equal security” through diplomatic talks and military.
But at the same time, he said, Indian forces maintain a high level of operational readiness to deal with all eventualities along the 3,488 kilometers of LAC, from eastern Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.
“We are alert and always ready to face any challenge,” General Naravane said, adding that the recent withdrawal of troops from “deep areas” throughout LAC did not represent much because there was no reduction in force levels in the front line or “Sticking Points” in eastern Ladakh.
TOI in November had reported that India was accelerating the rebalancing of military forces and firepower on the northern borders with China and the critical Indian Ocean region in the wake of the fighting in eastern Ladakh.
Confirming this operational recalibration on Tuesday, General Naravane said: “Ladakh showed that a certain amount of rebalancing was required on the northern borders. That is what we have put in place now. ”
The Army has 14 corps (with around 40,000 to 70,000 soldiers in each), four of which are “attack” formations. They are the 1st Corps (Mathura), the 2nd Corps (Ambala) and the 21 Corps (Bhopal) for Pakistan, and the relatively new and truncated 17 Corps specific to China (Pannagrah).
General Naravane confirmed to TOI that orders have now been issued to change the operational role of the 1st Corps, which will now focus on the northern sector with China, including Ladakh.
The 17th Corps, in turn, will focus on a strike role in the eastern sector of LAC, including the Chumbi Valley off Sikkim. Along with other steps, this amounts to a decisive shift from focusing primarily on the western front with Pakistan.
Recognizing that China had the “advantage of being the first to move” in April-May, when it “suddenly” diverted the troops from the exercises to the east of Ladakh, General Naravane said that India, in turn, had surprised the EPL by proactively occupying the heights on the southern shore of Pangong Tso-Chushul Area from August 28-30.
India has to be prepared to deal with “a two-front threat” by “prioritizing” one front over the other when necessary, he said. Most of the forces would be deployed to face the primary front, while maintaining a deterrent posture on the secondary front.

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