At a four-day conference beginning on Monday, an extensive review of the country’s security challenges shall be carried out by the top commanders of the Indian Army, including areas in the eastern Ladakh along with other sensitive areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, as said by people familiar with the development.
The security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir shall also be deliberated by the commanders in the backdrop of a spate of civilian killings that took place in the Union Territory in the last few weeks while the conference is reported to take place in Delhi.
Readiness to be Reviewed at LAC
The country’s combat readiness in eastern Ladakh shall be reviewed by the top commanders including the Chief of Army Staff General. Although both India and China have completed disengagement at several friction points, troops from both sides have been locked in a bitter standoff for 17 months, as said by the people cited above.
According to them, the possible impact of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan on the security of India and the region is also likely to be discussed by the Army commanders.
In a statement, the Army has made it clear that the second Army Commanders Conference is an apex level biannual event that shall be conducted from 25 to 28 October 2021 at New Delhi. Each year this event is held in April and October.
For conceptual-level deliberations and culminating in making important policy decisions, the conference proves to be an institutional platform.
Several aspects of emerging security
To chart the future course for the Indian Army in the backdrop of the situation, the current and emerging security and administrative aspects shall be brainstormed upon by the aped leadership of the Force, along the borders and challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
As per the Army, along with the Defence Minister, Chiefs of all the three (Army, Navy and Air force) forces shall also be addressing the senior leadership of the Indian Army on avenues for promoting tri-service synergy.
The Ladakh standoff
On May 5 the previous year, a standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted along the eastern Ladakh border which was followed by a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas.
Later to the incident, both sides were gradually seen enhancing their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry while tension escalated following a deadly crash in the Galwan Valley which occurred on 15 June last year.
The disengagement process in the Gogra area was completed by the two sides in August as a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks and in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake in February this year.
On 10th October, the last round of military talks ended in a stalemate, following which a blame game was played by both sides for the impasse.
Currently, around 50,000 to 60,000 troops have been deployed by both sides along the LAC in the sensitive sector.