The disengagement of armies of India and China from north and south banks of Pangong Tso is a “very good end result” and a win-win situation for both the sides, Army chief Gen M M Naravane said on Wednesday but stressed that there is a long way to go and the next steps towards it are de-escalation and de-induction of troops.
He also said there were no signs of an “overt collusion” between China and Pakistan during the Ladakh standoff but India caters to a long term strategy for not a two, but a two-and-half front war. With the half front, he was referring to the internal security.
Gen Naravane said there are strategies in place to address other pending issues in eastern Ladakh. Though the disengagement process has commenced, there is a trust deficit, he noted. The disengagement process began on February 10.
“We still have a long way to go. We have to move on to the stage of de-escalation. And of course, after that moving back of the troops, the de-induction of the troops which went to the higher reaches,” he said at a webinar organised by Vivekanada International Foundation.
While doing so, India will be very cautious as trust deficit remains, he said.
“In doing whatever we are doing, we are keeping in mind that we have to be wary. We will be very cautious. There is trust deficit. Unless that trust deficit is removed, we will, of course, continue to be very wary and watching every movement that happens on either side of the LAC,” he said. Naravane exuded confidence that with continued engagement with Pakistan, there could be some sort of an understanding because “unsettled borders and violence on the borders help no one”.