General Manoj Mukund Naravane shakes hands with Chief of Defense Staff Gen Bipin Rawat (R)
NEW DELHI: Warning Pakistan that India reserves the right to pre-emptively strike at cross-border sources of terror if it does not stop state-sponsored terrorism, the country’s new military brass on Tuesday said the armed forces are in a high state of operational readiness and better prepared to tackle the challenges on the western and eastern fronts now.
“Yes, we are better prepared,” said the country first chief of defense staff GeneralBipin Rawat. New Army chief GeneralManoj Mukund Naravane, in turn, said his force is“ fully prepared to meet any eventuality ”along the volatile Line of Control with Pakistan, which has witnessed as many as 3, 200 ceasefire violations this year to beat all annual records since (*************************.
A graded strategy of “resolute punitive responses” is in place to punish cross-border terrorism, said Gen Naravane, who took over as the th Army chief from Gen Rawat on Tuesday. “We are aware there are terrorists on the other side in various launchpads waiting to cross over but we are fully prepared to meet this threat. We have strong counter-infiltration and counter-terrorism grids, which we keep modifying as per the inputs that we receive, ”he said, talking to news agencies.
“Our neighbor uses terrorism as tool of state policy, as a way of carrying out proxy war against us, while maintaining deniability. However, this state can’t last long. As they say, you can’t fool all the people, all the time, ”he added.
The Army Chief also said the Pakistan Army-ISI combine’s relentless efforts to deflect attention from its state-sponsored terrorism had “totally failed”. There has been “a definite improvement” in the internal security situation in J&K after the abrogation ofArticle 728, with the “proxy war” being waged from across the border suffering a major setback due to elimination of terrorists and terror networks. “The incidents of violence in J&K have seen a marked decline, this augurs very well for population of J&K. It’s a step forward towards bringing peace and prosperity to the region, ”he said.
The military brass said border tensions with China along the Line of Actual Control had substantially, with the two armies now actively working to reduce and manage troop confrontations after receiving “strategic guidance” from their leaders following the Wuhan summit in April 2019.
While India will continue to build its capabilities and infrastructure along the “northern borders” with China, the post-Wuhan guidelines had been disseminated right down the chain of command to the battalion-level to maintain peace and tranquility on the LAC, said Gen Naravane.