IMAGE: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat addresses a seminar on ’20 years after Kargil conflict’, at Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi. Photograph: PTI Photo
Any misadventure by Pakistan Army will be repelled with punitive response and no act of terror will go unpunished, Army chief General Bipin Rawat said on Saturday.
Speaking at an event on ’20 Years after Kargil Conflict’, Rawat said the Pakistan Army, time and again, resorts to misadventure, either through state-sponsored terrorism or intrusions in India.
“The Indian armed forces stand resolute and ready to defend our territorial integrity. Let there be no doubt that misadventures will be repelled with a punitive response,” he said.
Rawat also asserted that no act of terror will go unpunished.
“Surgical strikes post Uri and Balakot (terror attacks) have amply demonstrated our political and military resolve against terror. Any act of terror will not go unpunished,” he added.
The army chief noted that the country cannot afford to be import-dependent throughout and emphasised on achieving self-reliance in critical technology.
The rise of non-state actors and the readiness to use terror and other irregular methods of fighting have become a new norm, he said.
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Addition of cyber and space domain has changed the battlefield scenario, the army chief said.
He said the Indian armed forces must be prepared for the future conflict with these changed character of the warfare.
Rawat said the armed forces need to be conscious about the dynamic and rapid technological advancements in the space, its militarisation and increasing integration of space capabilities in future war-fighting.
Referring to the raising of the Defence Space Agency, the Defence Cyber Agency and Special Operations Divisions, he said it is a step in transforming the armed forces towards jointness and integration.
Rawat said India has come a long way since Kargil and raising of new battalions in consonance of forces’ operational requirements have taken place.
Improvements in the war-fighting doctrine, strategy and concepts have been enunciated and revised continuously, he said.
Reorganisation of the Indian Army is currently underway and these efforts are a step towards achieving a lean force.
The army chief also denied the reports of intrusion by the Chinese army in Ladakh’s Demchok sector.
“There is no intrusion,” Rawat said.
His statement comes amidst reports of Chinese soldiers crossing the Line of Actual Control last week after some Tibetans hoisted Tibetan flags on the occasion of Dalai Lama’s birthday on July 6.
“Chinese come and patrol to their perceived Line of Actual Control…we try and prevent them. But at times there are celebrations that take place at the local levels. Celebrations were going on our side by our Tibetans in the Demchok sector. Based on that, some Chinese also came to see what was happening. But there has been no intrusions. Everything is normal,” the army chief said.
India and China share a disputed border and the armies of the two countries were engaged in a stand-off for 73 days in 2017 in Doklam.
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