Gen Bipin Rawat
Gen Bipin Rawat

India faces the threat of coordinated action along its northern and western fronts, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat said on Thursday, amid the ongoing border standoff with China.

He also cautioned that China’s economic cooperation with Pakistan in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir along with continued military and diplomatic support mandates high levels of preparedness by India.

He further said that India has conceptualised a strategy to deal with the coordinated action ‘‘on both our borders.’’ General Rawat was speaking at the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.

The candid assessment came even as the External Affairs Ministry told Beijing that the situation witnessed in the border areas in eastern Ladakh over the past four months is a "direct result" of actions taken by China, which were aimed at unilaterally effecting change in the status quo of the region.

The spokesperson also asked China to show sincerity in expeditiously restoring peace along the Line of Actual Control and border areas through complete disengagement and de-escalation in accordance with the bilateral agreements and protocols. He underscored that negotiations were the only way ahead.

JAISHANKAR TO ATTEND SCO: Replying to a question on whether External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will travel to Moscow to attend a meeting of the SCO foreign ministers on September 10, Srivastava said "yes". The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is an eight-nation regional grouping that includes China and India.

CHINA DEPLOYS MILITIA: Meanwhile, it is understood China has deployed five militia squads for rapid response at the disputed Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh. "Militia is basically a reserve force of the Chinese's People Liberation Army. They are deployed during war time situations and help the PLA in its military operations," said a senior government officer.

Even as the standoff continues, Air Force chief RKS Bhadauria visited frontline air bases in the Eastern Air Command and reviewed the operational preparedness of the combat units.

Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane is also on a two-day visit to Ladakh to review operational preparedness. He is expected to visit forward locations.

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