'Army capable to face any challenge along borders'

Last Updated 26 July 2018, 11:18 IST

The Indian Army is capable of meeting any contingency or challenge along the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan or the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, a top commander said today.

He said the modernisation of armed forces was going on in a big way which had improved operational preparedness.

He also described the situation in Kashmir as stable but fragile.

"I can tell you that Indian Army is fully prepared to take on any challenge along the Line of Actual Control and even along the Line of Control," Northern Army Commander Lt General Ranbir Singh told reporters here after paying tributes to the 1999 Kargil conflict heroes.

In the last 19 years, as far as the modernisation of the armed forces is concerned, it is going on in a big way, he said.

"We have been able to identify certain areas where we required additional focus -- whether it in the form of infrastructure development close to the LoC or even on the LAC or improvement of night vision capability, surveillance capability, night fighting capability. There is a substantial improvement that has taken place in so far as ops preparedness of the armed forces is concerned," he said.

Singh downplayed incidents of transgression along the LAC by the People's Liberation Army of China (PLA) saying these happened due to differing perception.

"On a large number of occasions, there are reports that the PLA of China has carried out transgressions in various areas along the LAC. But such transgressions have always taken place in areas where we have differing perception of the LAC. We do not have a delineated LAC. Similarly, when we speak to Chinese authorities, they also refer to us having transgressed into their territory on several occasions," he added.

The Army commander said there were well-established working mechanisms in place to resolve issues.

"We have got very well established mechanisms -- whether it is hot-lines between the forward posts or flag meetings which we do or border personnel meetings. At the higher level we have got a working mechanism for consultation and coordination for border affairs. At the highest level we have special representatives of both the countries who discuss issues related to the resolution of boundary dispute and each of these mechanisms is effective," Singh said.

We have been able to use these mechanisms to our advantage and have been able to resolve all, even very very tricky and touchy issues, with tranquillity and have been able to resolve them well to meet the aspirations of the Indian Army and PLA of China, he added.

Lt Gen Singh refused to be drawn into the post-election scenario in Pakistan, where Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party was emerging as the single largest party, saying it should be left to the authorities and people of Pakistan on how they handle the challenges inside their country.

"But with regard to the challenges to Indian Army along the LoC, I want to tell you that Indian army is prepared for any contingency. Any kind of movement, any kind of misadventure which our adversary tries to undertake, they will be given a befitting reply as always. So, be very very sure that the army is fully trained, we are equipped and motivated and always prepared to take on any contingency," he said.

Referring to the post-Kargil war political developments in Pakistan, the army commander said they "did not affect our preparations".

On the situation in Kashmir, he said it was stable but fragile.

"The situation in Kashmir is stable. However, it is fragile. The violence parameters which we have seen in 2018 are relatively better as compared to 2017 and earlier years. The stone-pelting activities are relatively less this year. That shows an understanding and comprehension in the minds of the local youth that it is futile to come out and carry out stone pelting on government agencies and security forces," he said.

They need to understand that it is the dividend of peace that needs to be exploited, he added expressing confidence that things were moving in that direction.

Lt Gen Singh said the situation deteriorates for sometime whenever Pakistan pushes in funds, weapons or militants.

"Some incidents do take place which act as triggers to spoil and vitiate the entire security situation. This essentially happens because of the nefarious designs of our adversary across the LoC. Whenever an impetus in terms of weapons, funds or pushing in Pakistan-trained terrorists is done, then obviously the situation deteriorates for some time but overall today the situation is stable. Security forces are in full control and should be able to handle any of the contingency that arises," he said. PTI MIJ ADS ADS

(Published 26 July 2018, 11:09 IST)

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