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India prepared for military action, says Army chief

Vice President Hamid Ansari, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag and Navy Chief Admiral Robin Dhowan during Tri Service Seminar to mark Golden Jubilee commemoration of Indo-Pak war 1965, in New Delhi on September 01, 2015. Photo: Sandeep Saxena  

Army Chief General Dalbir Singh on Tuesday said India is prepared to face offensive military action at its borders should the need arise. Referring to the frequent >ceasefire violations along the borders in Jammu and Kashmir, which has put relations between India and Pakistan under a strain, the Army Chief said New Delhi is aware of the need to remain prepared.

Speaking at the Tri-Service Seminar on the 1965 Indo Pak War, the Army chief said a very high level of operational preparedness at all times has become part of India’s strategy as there is recognition that the swift short nature of future wars is likely to offer limited warning time.

The Army Chief’s comments come in backdrop of ongoing ceasefire violations, which have put India on the alert. “As we look ahead we can see that our threats and challenges become more complex. As a result the commitments of the Indian Army have increased manifold in scope and intensity in past few years. The frequent ceasefire violations and infiltration bids by our western neighbour always remain live and active,” he pointed out.

Without naming names, the Army Chief accused Pakistan of employing “new methods to create unrest in Jammu and Kashmir” and said the recent instances of terrorist violence are “clear pointers to extend this arc of violence to other areas”.

General Singh’s comments come close on the heels of the Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif’s >statement blaming India for trying to “impose war on Pakistan”. The Pakistan Minister on Sunday has also cautioned India that it will suffer “heavy losses” if it tries to “impose” a war on his country.

India and Pakistan have been embroiled in a war of words over ceasefire violations; and tensions between two sides escalated after the Gurdaspur and Udhampur terror attacks, which New Delhi asserts were carried out by Pakistani nationals.

After the >cancellation of the talks between the National Security Advisors of both sides, following disagreements over the agenda for talks, both countries have accused the other of violating the ceasefire agreement that has led to loss of civilian lives as well as casualties to the defence forces.

While India claims 192 ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the international border in Jammu and Kashmir till July 29 this year, Islamabad has countered it by asserting that the Indian forces have committed 37 and 24 unprovoked ceasefire violations on the LoC and the Working Boundary in July and August respectively.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 12:59:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-needs-to-be-prepared-for-military-action-says-army-chief-dalbir-singh/article7603623.ece

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