Army Chief warns Pakistan, talks about caution on northern border

Army Chief warns Pakistan, talks about caution on northern border
Army Chief Bipin Rawat presents a medal to an Army Jawan. (Photo: ANI)


New Delhi, January 15 (IANS) Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat on Monday sent out a warning to Pakistan that India will scale up action if Islamabad continues supporting terror and infiltration of militants, while also stressing on the need to secure the northern border along China.


On the 70th Army Day celebrations at the Cariappa Parade Ground here, the Army chief said any provocative action from Pakistan will lead to a befitting reply.


“On the Line of Control (LoC), the Pakistan Army is continuing ceasefire violations and helping terrorists to infiltrate (into India). We are using our might to teach them a lesson. Any provocative action from Pakistan’s side will get a befitting reply.


“If we are forced, we will scale up the level of our action, and can take other steps,” he said.


Gen Rawat’s warning cames on a day when five militants from Jaish-e-Mohammed’s suicide squad were killed near the Line of Control (LoC) in a joint operation by Jammu and Kashmir Police, army and paramilitary forces and four Pakistani soldiers were killed in shelling from across the LoC in Pakistan-administered Kashmir’s Kotli sector.


About the border with China, the Army chief mentioned the ongoing conflict without giving details, and stressed on securing the border.


“Disputes are on along the Line of Actual Control, the northern border. Ensuring the security of the LAC is our primary responsibility,” he said.


He also charged Pakistan with trying to disrupt social harmony in Jammu and Kashmir, citing attacks on the Amarnath pilgrims and killing of policemen and soldiers like Lt. Umar Fayaz in the state.


“It is an attempt to target our national unity and social fabric. We will not allow these anti-national forces to succeed.”


Rawat said that in the country’s northeast, people-friendly operations had curbed terror though some groups were still trying to disrupt peace.


“The Indian Army has coordinated with Assam Rifles and others to isolate these groups and is continuing operations.”


Cautioning soldiers against the social media, Rawat said: “Social media is being used against us, we have to be careful in its use.”


He also said that all the forces – the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard along with other security forces are working together for the country and he believed that they could “utilise each other’s capability and win any battle”.


About modernisation, he said the Army was looking towards futuristic weapon systems, which includes devices with night vision, upgraded combat vehicles for the mechanised columns, long range guns and anti-aircraft guns, new helicopters for Army Aviation, and better electronic warfare and Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems.


Army Day is celebrated on January 15 to commemorate the day when Lt Gen K.M. Cariappa took over as Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from General Sir Roy Bucher in 1949.