'We hope not to escalate the situation further. We want to go for a peaceful solution and I sincerely hope this process will be on and we will find a peaceful solution'
'The Indian army is a professional army. They can handle such a situation'
Diplomatic talks between Beijing and New Delhi are already underway to resolve the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops while the Indian government is watching very closely as the army is quite experienced in handling these types of situations, says Gen (Retd) SL Narsimhan, a member of the National Security Advisory Board.
"Face-offs have occurred earlier also. They are nothing new. They have been happening. Second, when such face-offs occur it takes time to diffuse the whole thing. Third, the Indian army is a professional army. They can handle such a situation," the retired general told ANI.
"They (Indina Amy) got experience in handling them on the ground as well. If they build up from the other side, there is also counter to that build up from our side. So there is nothing to be worried about. A lot of writers are playing up that so many troops have come in, the public has to take it with a pinch of salt," he added.
Narsimhan, who is also the Director-General at the Centre for Contemporary China Studies, said that meetings are taking place at various levels, on the ground as well as technical level.
"Military commanders of the two sides have met twice in the previous week, on May 22 and 23. A third meeting is also coming up. In addition, diplomatic talks between Beijing and Delhi are already going on a daily basis and the government is watching very closely. We should back the army," he said.
The retired general further said it is true that there is a build-up, the number has been more than what was earlier along with aggressiveness, but "we should not read too much into this build-up. We should leave the process to take place. Processes are working and they should take their own course."
"Territorial integrity and sovereignty are to be protected. Whatever status was existed earlier should not be changed. Having said that, we also hope not to escalate the situation further. We want to go for a peaceful solution and I sincerely hope this process will be on and we will find a peaceful solution," he added while referring to the recent ongoing standoff between troops of both the countries in the Pangosg Tso lake area in Eastern Ladakh sector that started around May 5-6 earlier this month.
Meanwhile, responding to media reports stating Chinese President Xi Jinping urging his army to remain prepared for war during a plenary meeting of the delegation of the People's Liberation Army and People's Armed Police Force at the third session of the 13th National People's Congress in Beijing on Tuesday, Narsimhan said, "If you look at Xi's speech made in 2019, he exactly made the same speech. He told them to be prepared for whatever has to be faced. So I'd not think we need to read too much into it."
He further refuted reports that the Indian government is downplaying the conflict, saying, "Downplaying is speculation. I know some people have written about it. People who will be more interested in resolving this issue, including ground armed forces as well as the government, are doing their best. My suggestion is to let them do their work so that they can reach a solution peacefully."
He agreed that a face-off between the two neighbours is inevitable as both India and China do not have an agreed boundary. So any theory accusing China of diverting global attention at a time when all nations are grappling with Covid crisis is false.
"I don't subscribe to view that China is trying to divert attention therefore they are creating all this. We should look at it the way they had happened and second, it is also a patrolling season in those areas. The weather has improved; patrolling is taking place; infrastructure has improved. The border forces on both sides are able to do more patrolling," he added.