New Delhi: Army Chief Gen. M.M. Naravane said on Saturday that if ordered, Indian Army would take appropriate action to reclaim Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
He said that Army is “re-balancing” its deployment along the western and northern borders to deal with any kind of threat that might emerge from Pakistan or China.
He said that Siachen is the closest point for “collusion” between China and Pakistan and therefore it is important to keep that area in "our possession”. He said that counter-insurgency is a short term threat but “a long-term threat will always be conventional war and that is what we are preparing for.”
Gen. Naravane said that despite provocation by the Pakistan army and its Border Action Team at the Line of Control (LoC), Indian Army will never resort to any “barbaric activity” and will uphold international norms. Pakistan’s Border Action Team is suspected to have decapitated a porter, who was among two civilians killed along the LoC in Poonch district on Friday, and taken away the head.
“As far as PoK is concerned, many years ago there was a parliamentary resolution on it that the entire erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir is part of India. If Parliament wants that area should also belong to us and if we get orders to that effect, then definitely we will take action on it,” he said.
He said that Army has to balance its deployment to cater to threat both from the west and the north. “For dealing with the northern frontier we are going in for more capacity building which include creating roads to the forward areas, creating capacity in terms of habitat, storage for ammunition, moving some of our more advanced weapon system towards the eastern side,” he said.
He said that with this Army will be able to meet threat from any direction and it is prepared for the challenge.
Gen. Naravane said the Indian Army is aware of the fact that there is threat from both China and Pakistan. “In case of simultaneous threat from both directions, there will always be a primary front and a secondary front. Wherever our primary front is, bulk of our forces and resources will be concentrated to deal with that threat. On the other front, we will adopt more deterrent posture so that we are not found wanting on either of them,” he said.
He said that this is why “we have a dual task formation and these formation are ready to move from West to East and East to West to cater to the emergent threat.”
He said that following Wuhan Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President, both armies are resolving small differences locally and don’t allow it to get serious and therefore there is peace at Northern border.
Gen. Naravane said that Siachen is “important for us” as that is the only area where one army formation is looking after both Western and Northern frontier.
“That is what makes it so strategically important. We must not lose sight that is from where the collusion can happen. And therefore the importance of being on our guard and importance of keeping that area always in our possession,” said the Army chief.
He said that creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff is a “very big step” towards integration of the three forces and said the Army will ensure its success.
He said that decision of the CDS to set up an air defence command would help in preventing the recent incident where Iran shot down an Ukrainian passenger jet.
Meanwhile, welcoming Army chief’s statement, the spiritual head of Ajmer Dargah said the force should be ordered to take back PoK.
“When the Army is prepared, why wait?” the dargah deewan Zainul Abedin Ali Khan said. “The parliament should order the Army to take back PoK,” he tweeted....