DRASS: Against the backdrop of repeated incursions by China into Indian territory, a top Army commander today said the situation on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was "absolutely peaceful and calm" and such incidents happen due to differences in perception.
"The situation on the China border is absolutely peaceful and calm. There are no problems. There has been no incident of firing at the LAC. There are some areas where there is a difference of perception on the alignment of the LAC. We think it is some area and they think of some other," General Officer Commanding in Chief, Lt Gen D S Hooda, told reporters here.
He said there was no demarcation of the LAC on the land and in such areas both Indian soldiers as well as Chinese soldiers do patrolling.
"But even in those areas, whenever there are any face-offs, everything is settled peacefully. I cannot comment on the political or the diplomatic level, but soldier-to- soldier contact is handled very peacefully," he said.
He said there was no real concern of the transgressions by the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) and the rules and protocols were largely followed by both the sides.
"Transgressions are always there. Also, let me say that as the infrastructure there is getting developed and roads are coming up...even our presence is slightly increased in various areas. So, sometimes it is also because of that that you are actually seeing more of what is happening. There is greater visibility also from our side on what they are doing.
"There are rules and agreements and protocols that are defined and largely these protocols are being followed by both sides. Really, there is no cause of real concern that they are doing something which is out of the ordinary," he said.
On reports of deployment of Chinese troops in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), the army commander said it does not pose any immediate threat.
"There are some media reports that there are Chinese troops in PoK, but mostly they are related to developmental activities. We are not getting anything that is close to the LoC or poses an immediate threat.
"Yesterday, there was one ceasefire violation in Poonch-Mendhar and also one in Akhnoor sector. We had a few ceasefire violations there and they are continuing. Although, let me state that they are not (of) the same intensity as was last year.
Last year, the firing was much much heavier. But yes, there is a problem," Lt Gen Hooda said.
He said ceasefire along the borders with Pakistan was a biggest Confidence Building Measure (CBM) and it would be better for the relations between the two nations if it holds. "See I cannot answer for India Pakistan relations.
These are being handled at a particular level. But definitely, on the border the incidents which are happening...even the Foreign Secretary made that comment that the biggest CBM was ceasefire along the borders. And if the situation on the LoC and borders is calm, then it will definitely help and it will be good for the development of overall relations," he said.
The army commander said the force is prepared for the contingencies which may arise in the wake of the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
"We have to be prepared for contingencies. That is my job to look at what sort of contingencies can arrive. And how it can impact on the security situation in JK. So, the threat (of spillover from Afghanistan) is there. There could be a spillover.
"It is not as if nobody is talking about it. You are getting the statements by HM (Hizbul Mujhadeen) chief saying that I will take support from al-Qaeda and Taliban. We are hearing statements from Taliban side saying Kashmir is the next battle ground. Terms like 'Ghazve Hind' are being used. It has not yet manifested itself, but these are things that you have to look at and be prepared," he said.
Lt Gen Hooda also expressed concern over reports of ISIS flags being hoisted in Srinagar.
"Yes, all these things bother us. But we are looking at various contingencies and seeing how we need to deal with them in case they come up to us," he said.
The army commander rubbished apprehensions that Vijay Diwas was losing its importance.
"No, the importance of the Diwas is not waning. It is very significant for the relatives of the martyrs. But yes, we will do more to make it better and increase public participation. It is a very important event for us and we will do what we can," he said.
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