Says army has improved infrastructure at the LAC
General Manoj Pande on Sunday received a ceremonial guard of honour at South Block in Delhi, a day after he took charge as the new chief of the Indian Army. Pande said in an interview India was continuing dialogue with China, but would prevent any loss of territory on the Line of Actual Control.
Pande told ANI “The process of talks between India and China is ongoing. We believe this is the way forward. We are confident that as we continue to talk with the other side, we will find a resolution to the ongoing issues. We are very clear that we will not permit any change in the status quo and any loss of territory.”
He declared the situation at the LAC was normal. Pande said “The unilateral and provocative actions by our adversary to change the status quo by force, I feel have been adequately responded to.” He told ANI “In the end, our aim is to reduce the tensions along the Line of Actual Control and the restoration of the status quo takes place at the earliest.”
Pande noted the Indian Army had improved infrastructure at the LAC, inducting additional equipment and troops.
Pande acknowledged the situation of civilians living along the Line of Control had improved since India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire last year. However, he argued there was no evidence of a reduction in infrastructure in Pakistan to train and support terrorists. “On the contrary, we find that the number of terrorists operating has increased. Whilst on the LoC, the infiltration and violence levels have gone down but in the hinterland, there is no indication of that effect,” Pande said.
Earlier, Pande said his “utmost and foremost” priority would be to ensure very high standards of operational preparedness to face current, contemporary and future security challenges across the entire spectrum of conflict.
Pande also said the global geopolitical situation is changing rapidly, “as a result of which we have multiple challenges ahead”, asserting that the Army, in “coordination and cooperation” with the Indian Air Force and the Navy, will unitedly deal with any situation.
Pande on Saturday took charge as the 29th chief of the army staff after incumbent MM Naravane retired from service.
Pande, who was serving as the vice chief, became the first-ever officer from the Corps of Engineers to take the reins of the 1.3 million-strong force.
Before taking charge as Vice Chief of Army Staff on February 1, Pande was heading the Eastern Army Command that takes care of guarding the LAC in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh sectors.

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