No compromise was made to end standoff with China: Parnaik
Udhampur: No compromise was made to end the standoff with China in the Ladakh sector, Army's General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, K T Parnaik said on Monday.
"Ultimately, the whole issue was resolved with Chinese reverting to the pre-April 15 situation. In doing so, no compromise was made. We didn't give in to any of their unusual demands. No structures were destroyed," Parnaik said. He said the Army had deliberately chosen not to make any public comments on the stand off when it was going on as the government had taken up the responsibility to do so.
"While the standoff with China was going on, Army had deliberately chosen not to make any public comments. Reason is that the task of informing people was taken by the government and foreign office was dealing with it directly," he said.
Parnaik said China had violated the protocol when its troops put up tents in Daulat Old Begi sector in Ladakh region on April 15.
"On April 15, China came in and put up tents in the area. They decided to stay put. It was violation of the protocol. The matter went up to the foreign office. We had series of meetings. Foreign office was in touch with Beijing to de-escalate the situation," Parnaik said.
He said the situation was de-escalated without any compromises. "I repeat that no compromise was made and Chinese reverted to the pre-April 15 situation. That is how the situation was de-escalated," he said. The Army officer said he was not in favour of partial revocation of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).
"There is no need to disempower Army by partial revocation of AFSPA," he said, adding that Army had not misused AFSPA. On Amarnath yatra, he said, "We have got inputs on threat to the yatra."
On the issue of the standoff with China, Parnaik said, "There was no compromise. We lost nothing. We dismantled none of our defences. We broke none of our structures, which are speculations.”
"It was achieved without any compromise and within the realm of the BPTA (Border Peace and Tranquility Agreement) treaty, which exists. There was a simultaneous effort on the ground, at the tactical level by our formations, as well as the dialogue between the two countries at the foreign office level," he said. Parnaik said the Indian border with China, especially in Ladakh, has a "major problem" because it is not firmly delineated.
He said there were large areas of different perceptions. "The Chinese feel that their border extends to that line, we feel that our border extends to the line we believe to be ours. So, the areas recognised are the areas with different perceptions," he said.
Therefore, he said the PLA and the Indian Army continue to patrol these areas up to their area of perception and in doing so, they come across each other's patrol regularly. When that happens, there is a face-off.
"The entire process is peaceful. Whenever there is a face-off, we show manners to each other. We convince each other to de-escalate the situation. They go to their side and we return to our side," he said.
Parnaik said there are established methods of dealing with stand-offs. "These methods include communicating on the hotline. We have flag meetings, we have border personnel meeting. Besides, there are protocols which are followed by both the countries," he said.
On April 15, when Chinese troops put up tents in Ladakh area, they violated the protocol, which led to the standoff, he said.