While maintaining that both Northern and Western frontiers are equally important for India, Army chief General MM Naravane has said whenever government gives the go-ahead, his force is ready to take away Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
Making it clear that accordingly rebalancing of deployment of the forces and weapons are being carried out, the General commenting on Pakistan occupied Kashmir said: “If Parliament wants that area should be taken we will definitely do so and action will be taken accordingly.”
The Indian Army chief’s comments came at the annual press conference, where he said there was a parliamentary resolution that entire erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir is part of India. Whenever the government directs it will be done.
Naravane stressed: “If that be the mandate so be it.”
Last year in October, the then army chief and now the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat had said that the PoK territory is illegally occupied by Pakistan.
“The territory is not controlled by the Pakistani establishment, it is controlled by terrorists. Pakistan administered Kashmir is actually a terrorist-controlled country or a terrorist-controlled part of Pakistan,” Rawat stated.
In September 2019, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar had said that PoK is a part of India. “We expect one day we will have physical jurisdiction over it,” he said.
On August 5, 2019, Home Minister Amit Shah had asserted in Lok Sabha that PoK and Aksai Chin are part of Jammu and Kashmir and that Kashmir Valley is an integral part of the country.
Moving a resolution for abrogating some provisions of Article 370 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019, Shah had said “Kashmir is an integral part of India, there is no doubt over it.
“When I talk about Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Aksai Chin are included in it,” he said.
On border issue with China, India has had several rounds of talks. General Naravane said their priorities are to maintain peace and tranquillity on the border. “We are conscious of the fact there are threats from both side,” he said.
On his recent visit to Siachen, General Naravane said: “As far as land borders are concerned this is where (Siachen) the two countries — (China and Pakistan) are the closest. So the chance for collusivity is the most. Here and in Shaksgam valley.”
About the China border, he said: “We have to balance our requirement. On the northern border we are going in for capacity building, roads, habitats, storage for weapons by moving advanced weapons towards eastern side.”
On border issue with China, India had several rounds of talks. General Naravane said their priorities are to maintain peace and tranquillity on the border. “We are conscious of the fact there are threats from both side,” he said.
When asked whether PoK has to be taken and the government has given go-ahead signal, he did not say anything but stressed that whenever the government directs it will be done.
General Manoj Mukund Naravane reaffirmed that the force is committed to the core values of the Constitution and they would ensure integration to a big success.
“There is nothing better than, to begin with, the beginning which is A, B,C. A is for Allegiance, B for Belief and C for Consolidation,” he said.
General Naravane stressed: “Allegiance of the armed forces is with the Constitution of India. Be it jawan or an officer, we take an oath we swear in the name of God that we will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established, that we will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India. That is what should guide us in all our action and at all time.”
He questioned himself that what this allegiance means and what does this really translate into?
Then he replies, “This translates into the in core values which are enshrined in the preamble to the constitution. That is justice, liberty, equality and fraternity and that is what we are fighting for. We are deployed on the borders and safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is to secure for the people these core values. That is what we keep in our minds all the time.”
Talking about belief, he said that one should believe in ourselves, in the organisation, in the superiors and subordinates, in way of life and in way of the governance.
“If we have believe in ourselves, our entire edifice would be strong. In that case, we will not fall prey to all vile rumours. Belief is what keeps us going when times become tough,” he said.
The General pointed out that consolidation comes with continuity and Indian armed forces are in a very transformative stage.
“All in all those transformations we are doing, we have to consolidate upon them. We have to carry forward the initiatives and policies set up by our predecessors and make sure all of them lead a logical conclusion,” pointed the officer adding that somewhere along the way there could be midway course correction and “we have consolidated all these aspects”.
He then talked about integration within the army and integration within the service. The formation of the CDS and creation of the department of the military affairs is a very big step towards integration.
The Army chief said, “We on our part will make sure it is a success. Integration would also be within the army and integrated battle group. I want to assure in the process of integration we will take everyone along and nobody will be left behind.”
Talking about training, he said that training should be done for the future.
“If you want the joint structure to work we have to train accordingly. We have trained for future wars which are going to be network-centric in a highly complex and volatile environment,” he stressed.
He emphasised that he will ensure that Indian armed forces’ mantra is to get the best quality and not quantity.
“Whoever we will do, be it a selection of personnel or acquisition of new equipment we will focus on quality,” he said.
Army Chief pointed out that the forces personnel are the greatest strength. “The man behind the machine is what matters the most. We will make sure that our men get the best and we will look into all the inspirational needs,” he added. (IANS)