New Delhi: Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Saturday asserted that the Indian Army’s message is clear that it will not let any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo along the country’s borders succeed.
In his address at the Army Day Parade, he mentioned that last year was extremely challenging for the Army as he cited the developments on the northern borders with China, news agency PTI reported.
Army Day is observed on January 15 to mark Field Marshall KM Cariappa taking over as the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, replacing his British predecessor in 1949.
Addressing the Army Day Parade, Gen MM Naravane referred to the eastern Ladakh standoff and said that the 14th round military-level talks between India and China were held to keep the situation under control.
He said that joint efforts at various levels have led to disengagement in many areas which in itself is a constructive step, adding that on the basis of mutual and equal security, efforts would continue to find a solution to the current situation.
Gen Naravane emphasised how morale of the soldiers, who have been deployed on snow-capped mountains for India’s security. was sky-high.
“Our patience is a sign of our self-confidence, but no one should make the mistake of testing it,” Gen Naravane said, as quoted by PTI.
“Our message is clear, the Indian Army won’t let any attempt to unilaterally change status quo along country’s borders to succeed,” he added.
Gen Naravane also mentioned that the situation on the LoC (Line of Control) is better than the previous year but Pakistan is still harbouring terrorists.
According to him, nearly 300-400 terrorists in training camps across the border are waiting to intrude into India, a total of 194 terrorists were killed in counter-operations in the last one year.
“Attempts to smuggle arms across the border through drones continue,” he said.
He also noted that there has been progressive improvement in the interior areas of Jammu and Kashmir during the last two years.
Therefore, terrorist organisations across the border have been trying to create hurdles on the path of the development and they have increased their attempts, the Army chief stated.
“It is a part of their conspiracy to target non-locals and poor labourers,” he added.
In the Northeast, the security situation has improved significantly in the last one year due to proactive military operations, he mentioned.
Because of these operations, most of the terrorist organisations in the Northeast have announced ceasefire, he added.
According to him, the reduction in the number of troops to handle internal security is a sign of an improved situation.
Meanwhile, Gen Naravane said that India’s Myanmar border is very important in terms of security and Assam Rifles is giving proper attention to it.
The Army and Assam Rifles, along with the state governments in the Northeast, are jointly giving shape to the ‘Act East’ policy of the central government, he noted.
The Army Chief said that the Indian Army is taking concrete steps to modernise itself so as to face current challenges and future dangers.
“Along with top institutions such as IITs, the Army is speedily working on new technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, unmanned systems, directed energy weapons and swarm drones,” he mentioned, as quoted by PTI.
The Army Chief also spoke about the plan to create joint theatre commands with the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force, informing that it is moving ahead in a time-bound manner.
“You will see a lot of related transformational changes in future,” he added.
He talked about the achievements of Army soldiers in last year’s Tokyo Olympics.
He mentioned that 16 athletes of the Indian Army took part at last year’s Olympics and one of them (Neeraj Chopra) was able to get India’s first gold medal in athletics.
“This (winning gold medal) is a golden moment in our country’s sports history,” he said.
(With Agency Inputs)