LAC standoff: Army chief in Leh to review situation

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Army chief General MM Naravane on Thursday reached Leh as part of a two day visit to review the operational preparedness of his forces in the Ladakh region where Indian soldiers are locked in a tense standoff with Chinese troops.

The government, meanwhile, said that the border tension in Ladakh over the past four months is a “direct result” of Chinese actions aimed at effecting unilateral change in the status quo of the region, and asserted that the only way forward to resolve it was through negotiations.

Army sources said Gen Naravane would be briefed by senior field commanders on the ground situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) where Indian troops foiled attempts by Chinese forces to alter the status quo at the south bank of Pangong Tso Lake recently and occupied some key heights.

He will also get a detailed briefing on the talks held with the Chinese side over the past three days to ease the current situation.

The talks have not yielded any result and sources said another round of parleys was being held today at the brigade commander level in an open area at Chushul.

The Army chief’s visit comes after IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria visited front-line air bases in Eastern Air Command this week. has, meanwhile, rushed additional troops and weapons to the sensitive region anticipating that the current stand-off could go on for months.

At an online media briefing, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the Chinese actions resulted in “violation” of the bilateral deals and protocol which ensured peace and tranquillity in the border areas for close to three decades. He urged the Chinese side to “sincerely” engage with India with the objective of “expeditiously” restoring peace and tranquillity in the border areas through complete disengagement and deescalation.

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