No more body pushing on LAC; Indian, Chinese armies in regular contact, says Indian Army commander

“Earlier, we used to say Chinese have strategic patience. They are ready to wait. Now, the present India has come up a long way and we also have strategic patience and we are also ready to wait,” he said

May 06, 2022
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Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi with other Army personnel (File)

The Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army are in regular contact through the hotlines along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and the practice of ‘body pushing’ has been stopped, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi said on Friday. He also said that India has developed "strategic patience" as it is negotiating from a position of assertiveness to resolve the two-year standoff in eastern Ladakh.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines at the headquarters of the Northern Command at Udhampur, Lt Gen Dwivedi also said that during the negotiations India wants forces to step back, to de-escalate, but there is a "difference in perception" on how that should be done.

“To make sure that there is no irritant which is likely to become a violent situation, what we have done is, at the lower level, that is at the battalion and brigade level, we have opened up various channels of communication. We have regular hotline exchanges and we have stopped the system of body push and so on that was there earlier and no physical contact is being ensured,” he was quoted by The Indian Express as saying. 

Lt Gen Dwivedi said that “wherever there is an irritant, we immediately call for talks at the battalion and brigade level, sit down together and come to an amicable solution”.

Speaking about the situation along the LAC in eastern Ladakh, Lt Gen Dwivedi said that it is “stable but it is in the state of heightened alert. Because we don’t want a repeat of the situation which took place in April 2020.”

As a result, he said, “The force deployment and equipment deployment is calibrated in nature and we will make sure any misadventure by the adversary does not take place again.”

The 15th Corps Commander meeting took place on March 11. “(But since) these are long-standing issues, perceptional differences are there, the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) is also involved with us, they will take their own time. We both need to have strategic patience.”

“Earlier, we used to say Chinese have strategic patience. They are ready to wait. Now, the present India has come up a long way and we also have strategic patience and we are also ready to wait,” he said.

He added that it means “we are now negotiating from the position of strength, with assertiveness and the law of fair play. Therefore, if we are ready for a negotiation, if it is prolonged, we are going to wait”. “On ground, as far as operational preparedness is concerned, there will be no lapses, I can assure you,” he asserted.

(SAM)

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