Can’t Follow LAC Protocols Selectively: Army Chief On India-China Standoff
NEW DELHI: The ongoing standoff between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh is due to non-adherence of existing protocols and agreements, says India’s Army chief Gen MM Naravane. Speaking to StratNews Global Editor-in-Chief Nitin A. Gokhale, Gen Naravane said the protocols have to be enforced in totality and cannot be implemented selectively; also there’s a need for fine-tuning so as to avoid standoffs like the current one.
By virtue of talking to each other, we have been able to resolve most of the issues, especially those which were post-May 2020. What is important is that we have been able to talk to each other. As we keep talking with each other, differences keep getting narrowed down. And that is how out of the six friction points, we have been able to resolve five. And I am hopeful that going forward we will be able to resolve the other areas also. From the Chinese side also, there have been some positive statements that we need to resolve the differences between the two sides. But at the end of the day why this happened was because of non-adherence to the protocols and the agreements which were existing. If they had been followed in letter and spirit, this would not have happened. The protocols are in place. It’s just that they have to be enforced in totality and by both sides. You cannot say I will follow sub para A and not follow B. So if it says not to do something, don’t do. You can’t interpret it to your advantage and suit your convenience—you follow it in Ladakh and don’t follow it in Sikkim. You can’t be doing that either. But I think realisation is there that it is in the interest of everyone that the protocols and agreements that were in place need to be revived and perhaps with the lessons learnt and the experience that we have gained maybe further fine-tuned so that these kinds of incidents do not happen.