GUWAHATI, June 18 - The conflict in Galwan, in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives, can turn into a bigger conflict unless the political, military and diplomatic leaders of both India and China can show adequate maturity to keep the issue into a localized one, warned Major General AK Bardalai, an Indian army veteran.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, General Bardalai, who has experience of serving in the India-China border areas during his tenure in the Army, said that no country wants a war as it would result in unwarranted loss of lives and would cause heavy damage to the economy. He said that both India and China would have to make efforts to prevent the incident in Galwan snowballing into a bigger conflict.
Major General Bardalai said that following the incident, India should be careful all along the international border with China including Arunachal Pradesh. He expressed the view that India would have to build up military capability all along the border , which would include infrastructure development. �We should not trust China and try to build up capability all along the border,� he added.
Commenting on the Galwan incident where 20 Indian soldiers including an officer of the rank of Colonel was killed by the Chinese, Major General Bardalai said that India should have been more careful while dealing with the People�s Liberation Army (PLA) of China. He pointed out that trying to avoid unnecessary confrontation was all right. But at the same time, Army personnel should have been suitably armed to defend themselves in case of an emergency. �If you do not carry weapons how can you defend yourself? To prevent misuse of weapons, suitable standard operating procedures should have been issued, but sending out Army without weapons was not the correct decision,� he added.
Major General Bardalai pointed out that it is difficult to ascertain the actual reason for the present situation. One reason can be geo-political as China has been marginalized in the world following the COVID-19 outbreak and the neighbouring country may be trying to send a signal to the world with show of strength. The second reason could be undemarcated border related issues or combination of both.
At the same time, he said that the boundary disputes between India and China are not yet settled and though both countries agreed to abide by the Line of Actual Control, there are areas of dispute where situation flares up from time to time.