PM reviews army preparedness

PM reviews army preparedness

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday took stock of the preparedness of the Indian Army to face any challenge to national security, including the situation along the country’s borders with Pakistan and China.

The prime minister visited the Ministry of Defence in South Block, where the Chief of Army Staff Gen Bikram Singh briefed him about the operational readiness of the Indian Army and the prevailing security situation.

The briefing covered the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) as well as the undisputed stretches of the India-Pakistan border, which have been witnessing a series of ceasefire violations by soldiers of the neighbouring country and infiltration bids by militants since early 2013.

Modi took stock of national security on a day Pakistani Army personnel targeted Indian posts along the LoC in the Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir with heavy firing and mortar-shelling.

Before the Lok Sabha elections, Modi had blamed the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance regime for not doing enough on the national security front as well as for going soft on Pakistan even after repeated unprovoked ceasefire violations and killings by the neighbouring country’s soldiers along the LoC.

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, likely to visit Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, was also present at the briefing.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh and Army Chief-designate Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, presently the Vice-Chief, were also present.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said the briefing was “broad-based” and included a “detailed review of the security situation” and the “status of operational readiness”.

Sources said issues like the modernisation and procurement of defence equipment as well as pending projects had also been discussed, with the prime minister enquiring about the immediate and long-term requirements of the Indian Army.

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