Border incidents with China will continue till boundary agreement is reached: Army chief | India News

NEW DELHI: India and China will continue to have border incidents till the two countries reach a boundary agreement, Army chief General M M Naravane said on Thursday, while stressing the armed forces were well-prepared to tackle any ‘misadventure’ on the Line of Actual Control.
The Indian armed forces are also keeping close tabs on the developments in Afghanistan after the Taliban take-over in mid-August, with the Army being fully ready to thwart any terror challenge in the backdrop of Pakistan trying to push in more terrorists into J&K.
“Developments along the LAC (in eastern Ladakh) have added to the ongoing legacy challenges on India’s active and disputed borders on the western and eastern fronts,” said Gen Naravane, speaking at the annual session of the PHDCCI.
The unprecedented developments necessitated large-scale resource mobilization, orchestration of forces and immediate response by the Indian armed forces, and all under the overhang of the Covid-19 pandemic, he said.
Noting that there was “an outstanding border issue” with China, the Army chief, “We are well prepared to meet any misadventure that may occur as we have demonstrated in the past.”
“Such kinds of incidents will continue to occur till such time a long-term solution is reached – that is to have a boundary agreement. That should be the thrust of our efforts so that we have lasting peace along our northern borders,” he added.
Asked about the Pakistan-China nexus in Afghanistan, Gen Naravane said India continues to carry out periodic evaluation of threat perceptions. “Based on those evaluations, we formulate strategies and doctrines that are needed to meet future threats. This is a continuous process that never stops,” he said.
As far as the terrorist threat is concerned, the Army is “ready to meet” all challenges. “We have a very robust and dynamic counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist grid in J&K. It is a dynamic grid based on threat perceptions and the escalating levels of attempts by our western neighbour (Pakistan) to push in more and more terrorists,” he said.
Referring to the need to invest and induct “new and disruptive technologies”, the Army chief said the “danger” was that “long-drawn procurement processes and bureaucratic speed-breakers” would prevent the military from acquiring cutting-edge technologies.
Though much efforts have been made to bring about systemic changes with the aim of the ease of doing business, it however remains a work in progress. “There are still archaic rules and processes that defy logic and are at variance to modern best practices. This needs to be addressed,” Gen Naravane said.
The delegation of “emergency” powers and procurements to the armed forces, initially invoked in June last year and then extended till August this year, has given extremely positive results.
Under this, 113 contracts for revenue procurement of operationally critical ammunition, armament, vehicles, spares and special mountaineering equipment for almost Rs 9,000 crore were concluded. Another 68 contracts for capital procurement were inked for about Rs 6,500 crore.
“During the conclusion of these contracts, savings of about Rs 1,700 crore accrued due to the diligence and financial prudence of the emergency empowered committees at the Service headquarters’ level,” he said.
“Contracts were signed within a year, with another year for the deliveries to commence. The system had been a win-win combination for the industry and the user. The recommendation from the industry to institutionalize it as the standard system for all procurements and not just the emergency procurement, therefore, has merit,” he added.

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