Dokalam not last problem, Army cannot lower guard: Hariz

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Bhopal, Sept 14 (PTI): The Doklam problem was not the last of its kind and the Army cannot afford to lower its guard since it has been resolved, a top military commander said on Thursday. “Our training in command and preparedness remains intact. It does not mean that we should let the guard down because the Dokalam issue has been resolved,” General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Pune-based Southern Command Lt. General P M Hariz said.

He was talking to reporters after giving away 63 gallantry and distinguished service awards at an investiture ceremony of the Southern Command here. “We never let our guard down. We remain alert and we ensure that our preparedness is always of the highest order,” Hariz said.

The officer said the Army was always in a state of readiness to swiftly take position when needed to give a befitting reply to the enemy. “Recently there was a problem in Dokalam which has been resolved. But this doesn’t mean that it was the last. The Dokalam issue was resolved through diplomatic efforts by both sides (India and China),” he said.

He praised the Indian media for handling the issue in a “responsible” manner. Indian and Chinese troops faced off for more than two months at Dokalam plateau near Sikkim which has been claimed by both China and Bhutan. They stood eyeball to eyeball since June 16 when Indian troops stopped the Chinese from building a road at the India-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction before the two countries decided on an “expeditious disengagement” towards the end of August.

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