What former Indian Army chief Gen Naravane said on Manipur, China, Agnipath, POK, and CDS?

Team India Sentinels Saturday 29th of July 2023 01:19 PM

Former Indian Army chief Gen MM Naravane (retd) at IIC in Delhi 

New Delhi: Flagging the Chinese aid to several insurgent groups in northeastern part of the country, former Indian Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane (Retd) said that the involvement foreign agencies in the Manipur ethnic violence cannot be ruled out.

The ethnic clash between Meitei and Kuki communities in the state is ongoing since around three months now.  

Cautioning about the violence in the state that borders with Myanmar, Gen Naravane said that the instability in Border States is bad for the country's overall national security.

The former Army chief was responding to questions on the protracted violence in Manipur while interacting with journalists at a discussion on “National Security Perspective”, organized by the India International Centre and the Press Club of India in Delhi.

"I am sure that those who are in the chair and responsible for taking whatever action is due to be taken are doing their best," Gen Naravane said.

"The involvement of the foreign agencies, not only I say, cannot be ruled out but I will say they are definitely there, especially Chinese aid to various insurgent groups."

"We are just a little remote from the Golden Triangle (the area where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos meet). Myanmar is always in a state of disarray and military rule. Even at the best of times in Myanmar, the government only had control over the central Myanmar not really on the peripheral bordering state whether with India or with China or with Thailand. So drug trafficking has always been there," he said.

He added, "There will probably be agencies or other actors in the game who benefit from the violence and who would not want a situation of normalcy to get on because while this instability is there, they stand to benefit."

"That might be one of the reasons why we are seeing this continuance of violence in spite of all the efforts, which I am sure have been put in by the state and the central governments to bring it down," he said.

China No 1 enemy

Even from the time of former defence minister George Fernandes in the Vajpayee government, the Chinese were seen as Enemy No. 1, but India had been reticent about it till Doklam and Galwan. Both standoffs gave the government the impetus to redeploy troops, moving them from the west (facing Pakistan) to the north, towards China, he said.

When asked about the reason for the Chinese actions in east Ladakh three years ago, he said, "No idea? Search me? Was it localised? Were higher ups involved? It was a misadventure, and proof of that is they had to go back. The bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir may be one of the small reasons." Whether the orders to the local formation had come from the command or the headquarters is not known, he added.

Taking back POK is Parliament’s resolution

References about the taking back of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) are not new, the former chief said. There is a parliamentary resolution. “There is no harm in making statements to keep him off balance. It is not a bad idea to keep the enemy guessing.” General Naravane (Retd) added that though there is a two-front war threat, no one has fought a two-front war and won. That is when diplomacy comes into play, he added.

On CDS appointment

Asked about the appointment of General Anil Chauhan as chief of defence staff after calling him back from retirement, he said even General Douglas McArthur was called back from retirement once. It was the government’s decision to find the best man. “They made me chief. That’s not a small thing.”


The former chief said it was necessary to have Agniveers as a young force is necessary. He said, "Who’s going to climb up Tiger Hill? We need a young army. And people who were called in after 4-5 months of training did just as well."

“Only time will tell whether it is a good scheme or not.”

Nepalese Gorkha

The Indian Army has shortfall of Nepalese Gorkhas. We have opened up for the hill tribes. “If the soldiers from India in the Indian Army is not getting pension then how can Gorkhas.”  

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