Army chief General BipinRawat on Saturday said that any misadventure by Pakistan Army will be repelled with punitive response.
Speaking at an event on ’20 Years after Kargil Conflict’, General Rawat said, “Pakistan Army, time and again, resorts to misadventure, either through state-sponsored militancy or intrusions in India.”
“The Indian armed forces stand resolute and ready to defend our territorial integrity. Let there be no doubt that misadventures will be repelled with a punitive response. The rise of non-state actors and the readiness to use militancy and other irregular methods of fighting have become a new norm,” he said, adding that “Addition of cyber and space domain has changed the battlefield scenario.”
Rawat said, “Surgical strikes post-Uri and Balakot (terror attacks) have amply demonstrated our political and military resolve against terror. Any act of terror will not go unpunished.”
No intrusion by Chinese soldiers in Demchok sector
Referring to the media reports about Chinese soldiers entering into Demchok sector, the Army chief said, “There is no intrusion.”
His statement came amidst reports of Chinese soldiers crossing the Line of Actual Control (LAC) last week after some Tibetans hoisted Tibetan flags on the occasion of Dalai Lama’s birthday on 6 July.
The Army chief said both sides have different perspectives on the Line of Actual Control. “There are gaps in between. So both sides patrol and come into each other’s areas. Chinese come and patrol to their perceived LAC which we try and prevent. We try and attempt to reach out to LAC or based on the limit of patrolling given to us, we visit those areas,” he said.
South Block sources had on Friday said some 11 Chinese in civilian clothes arrived in two vehicles when Ladakhi villagers were celebrating Dalai Lama’s birthday on July 6.
They then showed them banners and waited there for 30-40 minutes but did not cross the Line of Actual Control, they said. The Tibetans were celebrating the 84th birthday of the Dalai Lama. “At times, there are celebrations that take place at the local level. Celebrations were going on our side by our Tibetans in the Demchok sector. Based on that, some Chinese also came to see what was happening,” General Rawat said.
Asked whether the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers were present during the 6 July incident, he said security officials from both sides accompany civilians whenever they go the LAC.”When the civilians go forward, obviously there will be PLA and when our civilians go to LAC, the ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) or the Army will accompany them. We are not going to allow the civilians to go the LAC without being monitored. So, both sides will monitor,” he said.
The matter was also raised in the flag meetings between the security officials of the two countries, the Army Chief said.
“Everything is normal. You need to dispel this myth that there has been any kind of intrusion or activity by the Chinese which is detrimental to our security,” he said.
“We have a very good working relationship with the Chinese. Anytime such things happen, we have the local commanders talking to each other. We are meeting regularly,” the Army chief added. India and China share a disputed border and the armies of the two countries were engaged in a stand-off for 73 days in 2017 in Doklam.