The Indian Army will not let any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo along the country’s border succeed, Army Chief General MM Narvane said on Saturday on the occasion of Army Day. 

The chief was referring to the ongoing standoff with China at the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh. During an address at the parade, he said the previous year had been incredibly challenging because of the developments on the northern borders with China, according to news agency PTI.

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China and India are in a border standoff in Ladakh since early May 2020, soon after a violent clash broke out in the Pangong lake area. Each side has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LOC.

Fourteen rounds of military-level talks have been held between the two countries. 

Joint efforts and diplomacy have led to disengagement, which is a constructive first step, Gen Naravane said, adding that these efforts would continue. 

“Our patience is a sign of our self-confidence, but no one should make the mistake of testing it,” Gen Naravane said.

“Our message is clear, the Indian Army won’t let any attempt to unilaterally change status quo along country’s borders to succeed,” he added. 

On Pakistan’s role in harbouring terrorists, he said that nearly between 300-400 militants across the border are waiting to intrude into India. 194 terrorists were killed in counter-operations in the last one year.

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“We stand firm to counter any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo along our border,” the army chief said on the eve of Army Day, adding, “Our desire for peace and tranquility is borne out of our inherent strength, it should not be mistaken otherwise.”

General Naravane said safeguards to counter state-sponsored terrorism too have been strengthened — both along the “borders and the hinterland”.

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January 15 is marked as Indian Army Day to honour the courage, bravery, and sacrifices of soldiers, veterans, and their families for their service to the nation. The day commemorates Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Cariappa (K. M. Cariappa), who’d been the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army. 

(With PTI inputs)