Army Chief General M M Naravane Tuesday said Pakistan and China formed a ‘potent threat’, and the ‘threat of collusion’ could not be wished away. Addressing an annual press conference in New Delhi, General Naravane said Indian forces would have to be prepared to deal with a ‘two-front’ threat scenario as there was ‘increasing cooperation’ between China and Pakistan in both military and non-military sectors.
He also said he was hopeful that India and China will be able to reach an agreement to resolve the eastern Ladakh standoff but at the same time asserted that Indian troops will maintain a high state of combat readiness to deal with any eventuality. Gen Naravane said the operational preparedness of the Indian armed forces has been of very high level and they will continue to hold onto their ground. ‘We are prepared to hold our ground as long it takes to achieve our national goals and objectives,’ he said. On increasing security challenges at the Line of Actual Control, the Chief of Army Staff said a need was felt about ‘rebalancing’ of troops along the northern borders, adding ‘that is what we have put in place now.’
Amid the standoff with China, General Naravane said India has maintained high alert level along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). ‘We are ready to meet any eventuality; our operational preparedness is of very high order,’ he said. Naravane said he hoped an agreement for disengagement and de-escalation would be reached with China. ‘We will hold on to our positions in eastern Ladakh and hope for a solution based on mutual and equal security,’ he said. The country’s security is of paramount importance and our army is taking care of it in an efficient manner.