August 2017 News
Army Chief To Review Security In Ladakh18 August 2017
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
New Delhi: In a significant development, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat will review the security scenario in eastern Ladakh over the weekend. His visit comes after Indian and Chinese troops clashed at a spot, north of the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh, on August 15. A subsequent meeting of the military commanders of the two countries resolved to work at the 'existing peace mechanisms'. The Army Chief will be briefed by the Leh-based 14 Corps Commander on Sunday. The Northern Command chief, entire top brass of the 14 Corps and the local Indian Air Force Commander of the Leh air base shall be part of the review. Eastern Ladakh, part of J&K, shares a 826-km frontier with China and is geographically defined as the area from Karakoram Pass in the north to Demchok in the south-east of the Ladakh region. An Indian assessment is that the Karakoram range in the country could be the possible military target for China. It can threaten New Delhi's hold over Siachen as well as cut off the Depsang plains and Daulat Baig Oldie, an advanced landing ground for aircraft at 16,200 feet. In the past four-five years, Indian troops have been added to prepositioned locations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the name for the de facto border. Additions to mechanised forces and artillery guns have been made, backed by the T-72 Russian-origin tanks. The plateaus interspersed in the folds of the major mountain ranges - the Greater Himalayas, Karokaram, Ladakh and Zanskar - are ideal tank country, flat with ample places to hide in the folds of the valleys. The latest Indian stance along the Line of Actual Controlis not akin to Jawaharlal Nehru's failed 1960-1961 'forward policy', but it mandates holding claims line along the Line of Actual Control. The 'forward policy', as explained by Neville Maxwell in his book 'India's China war', entailed taking up permanent positions along the high ridgelines of eastern Ladakh as per India's perception of the boundary of 1954. The latest Indian positions are more in line with maintaining the sanctity of the Line of Actual Control. In his maiden domestic tour, President Ram Nath Kovind will visit the Ladakh region on Monday where he will present the President's Colours to battalions of the Ladakh Scouts, an infantry regiment of the Army. Sources said President Kovind would visit a meditation centre after the award ceremony. The President's Colours is one of the greatest honours bestowed upon a unit in recognition of its exceptional service rendered by it to the nation, both during war and in peace.