New Delhi: As tensions with China flared up, Army Chief Gen. M.M. Naravane on Thursday landed in Leh to review the operational preparedness of the forces deployed in Ladakh.
Earlier, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria, on Wednesday visited frontline airbases in the eastern sector to take stock. The IAF is on high alert in Ladakh.
Gen. Naravane, on a two-day visit to Ladakh, will visit forward areas to assess the emerging situation with China on the ground. Gen. Naravane’s Leh visit at this juncture is crucial as the Chinese have not taken well to India’s moves to pre-empt them and occupy over two dozen strategic peaks on the southern banks of Pangong Tso. Some of these were taken by the Indian Army for the first time after the 1962 war and allows Indian forces to overlook Chinese garrisons.
Another round of brigadier-level India-China talks on Thursday again failed to reach any breakthrough. This was the fourth meeting in the last four days on de-escalation in southern Pangong Tso.
India is now well prepared to face the Chinese threat after it has built up forces that are well acclimatised, brought in tanks, artillery and stocked up supplies in the past few months after being initially surprised by the Chinese intrusions in May.
Gen. Naravane will meet top commanders in Leh to strategise on how to counter any aggressive move by the PLA.
Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat said Thursday India’s forces were capable of handling aggressive Chinese actions in “best suitable ways”. Gen. Rawat said India’s policy of engagement, if not backed by credible military power and regional influence, would imply acknowledging China’s pre-eminence in the region. “Of late, India has seen some aggressive actions by China but we are capable of handling these,” Gen. Rawat said, warning that Pakistan will pay heavily if it tried to take advantage of the current India-China tensions.