Original J&K, Ladakh included, is going to be a “ karambhoomi” for new army chief Gen. Dwivedi

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | July 01, 2024 IST

Arun Joshi

It is always a big news when new army chief takes over in India, and it was no different this time when Gen. Upendra Dwivedi took over as the 30th Chief of Army Staff on June 30.  The original Jammu and Kashmir- that is the combined geography and geo-strategic considerations of the two union territories of Ladakh and J&K combined , presents real challenges for  the new army chief.

Gen. Dwivedi is not new to the challenges existing at the moment and the future ones as he is known as a thinking military leader who knows how to put the plans in action. In a diverse country like India, having multiple borders from east to the west and especially in the northern sphere, army chief ‘s hat is quite big. And, in the given situation when the global conflicts are haunting the geopolitics of the world, and closer home situation on the borders with China and Pakistan in particular, he has a gigantic task ahead.

India at this point in time is not in an unenviable position. China is breathing down its neck on the Line of Actual Control. The situation in eastern Ladakh where China inflicted military standoff has entered into fifth year in April-May this year with no immediate sign of the stalemate coming to an end anytime soon is grim. In his own words when he headed Northern Command, Gen. Dwivedi had described the situation in eastern Ladakh as “stable but unpredictable.” And Pakistan is keeping the LoC hot with repeated infiltration bids, accompanied by the droppings of arms and ammunition through drones. The cyber propaganda against the Indian nation may not be deemed as a direct threat to the Indian army, but if looked at the intentions behind such falsehood is to create terrorism turbulences in Jammu and Kashmir which draw army into picture as it is at the forefront of fighting terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

In short, the original Jammu and Kashmir, that is the Union Territory of Ladakh included, is the turf where the leadership of Gen. Dwivedi will be tested in the months to come. He has certain initial advantages – he knows the place and people well, and all the men in other forces, J&K police and Ladakh police are known very well to them. His stint as Northern Command Chief has given him a lot of familiarity and experience of the place.

Why it is important for Gen. Dwivedi to accomplish a hard task in J&K and Ladakh because the prestige of the Indian army and its leadership rests on it. He has to prove that he is the kind of military leader that country needs at the time of multiple crisis which are not wars but present war-like situations. If he succeeds in achieving what has not been achieved so far in the past few years in eastern Ladakh and put to an end to the infiltration from across Line of Control that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan, then he will leave a lasting legacy.

It is quite a forbidding  situation . India has to wait and use its diplomatic prowess to achieve the military objectives of getting Chinese troops back to the pre-April-May 2020 positions. the wait has lasted for more than four years and there are no or little signs that India could see back of Chinese troops at the LAC anytime soon.

Gen. Dwivedi is the third army chief after Gen. M M Narvane , and Gen. Manoj Pande , to witness the stalemate on the borders. Chinese troops are spread over 646 Kms of LAC in eastern Ladakh . They have built permanent structures at places and have a great advantage of infrastructure and connectivity in their backyard. Their roads come up to the LAC , and the airfields are not far behind . India is not facing the

The Indian army could evict Pakistanis after fighting nearly 100-day war. The situation with China is different . India could not have launched a war because there were far greater geo-strategic consequences than Kargil war. The option of war is not on table. The clashes , which India witnessed and suffered from it , in Galwan Valley on June 15 /16, 2020 , is one thing , but having a full-fledged war with China has global dimensions . So, Gen. Dwivedi will have to think of out of box solution . Each day of his tenure will offer him a testing time .

Within J&K , Pakistan sponsored terrorism is showing signs of revival. There have been half-a-dozen attacks , including the one on a pilgrims’ bus in Reasi , and a couple of encounters in Kashmir Valley , these are not signs of complete peace in the region . It implies that terror threat exists , though it may be minimal as compared to the bad old days of early 1990s and first two decades of 2000s. And peace in Jammu and Kashmir hinges on the approach and attitude of the army . Gen. Dwivedi knows that his karambhoomi is J&K at the moment.

Disclaimer: This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write-up have nothing to do with www.prameyanews.com.

 


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