Situation on borders with China under control: Army chief


New Delhi: Chief of Army Staff Gen M M Naravane during the annual press conference in New Delhi, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Chief of Army Staff Gen M M Naravane during the annual press conference in New Delhi, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Army chief General M M Naravane on Saturday said everything was under control on the country’s borders with China and expressed hope that the ongoing dialogue will settle all the perceived differences between the two countries.

“I would like to assure everyone that the entire situation along our borders with China is under control. We are having a series of talks which started with Corps Commander level talks which was followed up with meetings at the local level between commanders of equivalent ranks,” Naravane told reporters on the sidelines of the Indian Military Academy’s Passing Out Parade.

He said the ongoing dialogue will sort out all the perceived differences between the two countries.

“As a result a lot of disengagement has taken place and we are hopeful that through the continued dialogue that we are having, all perceived differences that we (India and China) have will be set to rest,” the Army chief said.

He said both sides have begun to disengage in a phased manner and the process has started from the north.

“Both sides are disengaging in a phased manner. We have started from the north, from the area of the Galwan river where a lot of disengagement has taken place. It has been a very fruitful dialogue that we have had. And as I said it will go on and the situation will improve as we go on,” he said.

Replying to a question on Nepal, which has revised its map showing Lipulekh as Nepalese territory, he said India has always had strong ties with Nepal and they will remain strong in future.

“We have a very strong relationship with Nepal. We have geographical, cultural, historical, religious linkages. We have very strong people-to-people connect. Our relation with them has always been strong and will remain strong in the future.”

Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane said the country is passing through difficult times and its safety and honour depend on the ability of its young officers as military leaders.

Addressing gentlemen cadets at the Indian Military Academy as the reviewing officer of a passing out parade, Gen Naravane said they are being commissioned as officers into the army under the most daunting of circumstances and the high standards of their military training will help them overcome the challenges lying in store for them.

The parade saw a total of 423 cadets being commissioned into the army including 333 from the country and 90 from friendly foreign countries.

“These are difficult times for the country. Its safety, honour and respect depends on your abilities as military leaders. You have to live up to the expectations of your countrymen. You have to ensure that whatever you do is for their welfare,” he said.

The army chief said there are no good or bad regiments but only good officers.

“Become one with your men. Win their trust and affection and they will win battles for you,” Naravane said.

He asked the gentlemen cadets to throw themselves into their new role as commissioned officers with passion but also be compassionate towards their men.

“When the going gets tough and all seems lost, it is the spirit of your men that helps you win,” he said.

He said the gentlemen cadets who are taking their first step as commissioned officers will have to take decisions in the tactical and operational domain as well as resolve ethical issues and they will have only their conscience to guide them.

“In such critical moments let the core values enshrined in the preamble of the constitution of India be your guiding light,” the Army Chief said.

Asking them to rise above petty considerations of caste, creed and religion, he said the army does not discriminate.

Apart from containing the external threats you may also have to defang internal forces out to destabilise the country.

He said the precise drill movements of the cadets had convinced him they will do their respective countries proud.

“In the autumn of your careers what will matter is not the position your finally attain but how honourably you have served your nation,” he said.

In a message to the gentlemen cadets’ parents, who were not allowed to attend the event due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Army Chief said, “Till yesterday they (gentlemen cadets) were your children but from tomorrow they will be ours.”

He promised to be with them through thick and thin.

The parade looked slighthly off colour this time with the enthusiastic crowds of parents and some usual features missing like the showering of the drill square with flower petals by helicopters.