‘Situation not conducive to pull out troops from J&K’
Jammu: Maintaining that India is ready for any challenge, the Indian Army chief General M M Naravane Tuesday said that the developed relations between China and Pakistan form a potent threat to the national security of the country, while the army would continue to maintain the stand in eastern Ladakh come may what.
Addressing his annual press conference ahead of Army Day on 15 January, Naravane said that Pakistan continues to support militants and militancy, however, India is ready to meet any eventuality.
“There is no doubt collusion threat exists from Pakistan and China and it’s not just something that was part of some strategy process or loud thought process but has very much manifested on the ground also there is a cooperation between the two nations in both military and non-military fields,” he said.
“Two front threat is something we’ve to be prepared to deal with and have to see which is more serious and prioritize deal with that first”, he said.
To a query about the national security threat challenges, the army chief said that Pakistan and China together form a potent threat to the national security of India.
“We have no tolerance for militancy and reserve our right to respond at any place and time of our choosing and with precession. This is a clear message sent across, that India will not tolerate any such a kind of activity,” he said.
Naravane said they are maintaining a high state of alertness all along the northern borders, keeping in mind the threat perception.
“We have our winter deployment at the place. We are alert and ever ready to meet any challenges,” he said.
He said that eight rounds of talks between the military commanders of India and China have taken place.
“We are awaiting the dates for the ninth round of talks and I’m sure through dialogues we’ll be able to reach a solution based on the principles of mutual and equal security,” Naravane said.
“We are hopeful for a positive situation, but at the same time are ready to meet any challenge and all the logistics are very well taken care of whether it is clothing, habitat and ration,” he said adding that there is no cause for concern at all on that front and operation preparedness is of a very high order.
The army chief said there is a need to restructure and enhance capabilities and several contracts have been signed that includes procuring weapons and protective gear for soldiers manning the borders.
About the rise in local militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, Naravane said that every year a large number of militants are killed but the recruitment process continues in different outfits.
“We always work to thwart the recruitment process at ground level through Sadhbavna operations,” he said. “Militancy recruitment is shrinking every year but there are ups and downs for sure, however, with the government approach and more employment opportunities for youth, I am sure the situation will improve.”
Responding to a query about the internal security, the Chief said that the militancy continues unabated although the situation in the hinterland has improved somewhat. ” The situation has not reached the level we can contemplate and move troops out of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
About the cold injuries in high altitude areas, Naravane said the arrangement for the proper infrastructure, clothing, ration, and heating arrangements have been made and the graph of injuries is the same as the previous year even when a huge deployment has been made along the LAC in eastern Ladakh.
“We recorded 0.13 per cent cold injuries last year while the graph is 0.15 per cent now and it’s only because every sector was ready with a backup in forwarding areas with all the requirements”, he said.
To a query about the stress level among the troops, the army chief said that the sample size was only 400 and it’s not an adequate sample size for such a study.
“The actual graph of suicide tendency among the troops has come down,” he said—(KNO)