Newly-appointed Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Wednesday said the armed forces need to pay more attention and develop the capabilities along the border with China, NDTV reported. Naravane made the comment a day after taking charge as the 28th chief of Army staff, replacing Bipin Rawat.

Naravane had on Tuesday warned Pakistan that India reserved “the right to preemptively strike” at sources of terror. “Terrorism is a worldwide problem, India has been at the receiving end of terrorism for a long time,” he had said. “It is only now that the entire world and many countries affected with terrorism, are coming to realise what a threat it is.”

But, he said on Wednesday, there was a lot of attention on the western front but not the northern front. “It is in that context that we are now going in for capability development even in the northern borders, which includes the north-east parts of our country,” Naravane said. He earlier headed the Eastern Command of the Army, which looks over the 4,000-km border with China.

“We have the Line of Actual Control with China. The border question is yet to be settled,” he said. “However, we have made a lot of progress in maintaining peace and tranquility along the borders. And I am sure that the situation will prevail. And by maintaining peace and tranquility along the borders we will be able to set the stage for an eventual solution.”

There have been several reports of incursions by Chinese soldiers in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh in the last few years. In 2017, a 73-day standoff was triggered by the attempts of Chinese troops to build a road close to Indian border in Doklam, an area also claimed by Bhutan.

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‘Reserve right to strike sources of terror’: Pakistan warned by new Army chief Manoj Mukund Naravane