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Published On: Wed, Jan 1st, 2020

We reserves right to ‘preemptively strike’ at sources of terror: New Army Chief warns Pakistan

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New Delhi: New Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane during an intervew with PTI, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019. (PTI Photo/Atul Yadav) (PTI12_31_2019_000184A)

NEW DELHI : Hours after taking charge as India’s new Chief of Army Staff, General MM Naravane issued a strongly-worded warning to Pakistan to desist from sponsoring terrorism, telling news agency PTI “we reserve the right to pre-emptively strike at sources of terror”.

The Army Chief said India had “multiple options across (the) spectrum of conflict… to respond to any act of terror sponsored or abetted by Pakistan”. General Naravane, who succeeded General Bipin Rawat, also said his focus would be on ensuring the Army maintained high standards of operational readiness to “face any threat at any time”.
General Manoj Mukund Naravane, who was appointed to his position this morning, assumes the new after he was appointed Vice Chief of the Army in September. He earlier headed the Eastern Command, which guards India’s nearly 4,000-kilometre-long border with China.
“We have evolved a strategy of resolute punitive response against sponsored terrorism. If Pakistan does not stop state-sponsored terrorism, we reserve right to pre-emptively strike at sources of terror,” General Naravane told PTI, adding, “…multiple options across spectrum of conflict to respond to any act of terror sponsored or abetted by Pakistan”.
“As far as our neighbour is concerned they are trying to use terrorism as tool of state policy, as a way of carrying out proxy war against us. This can’t last long. You can’t fool all the people all the time,” he told news agency ANI, describing terrorism as “worldwide problem” but one India had been at the receiving end “for a long time”.
“It is only now that the entire world and many countries affected with terrorism (that they) are coming to realise what a threat it is,” he claimed.  India has repeatedly blamed Pakistan for carrying out terrorist attacks in the country and asked it to stop supporting terror outfits operating from its soil. Earlier this year Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on world leaders to unite against state-sponsored terrorism.
Pakistan has also been cautioned by the global community for failing to act against terror funding; in October the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global terror funding watchdog, retained Pakistan in a “grey list” of countries whose domestic laws are considered too weak to tackle challenges of money laundering and terrorism financing.
“(The) Pakistan Army’s all-out efforts to deflect attention from state-sponsored terrorism have been a failure,” the Army Chief said, adding that the country’s “proxy war design” had been hit by “elimination of terrorists and decimation of terror networks”.

“…aware terrorists in various launch pads waiting to cross over but we are fully prepared to meet this threat,” he added, also saying India would continue to improve capacity along the China border.

The Army Chief also discussed some of his plans for the future, telling news agency ANI that he would work on procuring “better equipment, good tactics and strategy” to help the armed forces maintain operational readiness.  General Naravane’s comments echo those made by his predecessor, General Bipin Rawat.

In October General Rawat, who was yesterday appointed as the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff, described Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as a “terrorist-controlled country or a terrorist-controlled part of Pakistan”.
Meanwhile, Outgoing Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, who will be taking over as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) on Wednesday (January), has reiterated that the Indian Army is better prepared to take on the challenges at Pakistan and China border.

Addressing the media on Tuesday morning after paying tribute at the National War Memorial in Delhi, General Bipin Rawat conveyed his best wishes to his successor General Manoj Naravane who will be assuming the office as the 28th Army chief. He further said, “Confident he will take Army to greater heights.”
The outgoing Army chief further said, “Today as I demit the office of Chief of Army staff, I wish to convey my gratitude to the soldiers, rank and file of Indian Army who have stood steadfast under challenging circumstances.”On being asked whether the Indian Army is better prepared to take on the challenges at Pakistan and China border, General Rawat said, “Yes, they are better prepared.”

Speaking on his appointment as Chief of Defence Staff, General Rawat stated that he will plan his strategy for the new role after assuming the position. “The position Chief of Army Staff has many responsibilities. Till now, I was concentrating on my obligations as Chief of Army Staff. Now that I will have a new designation, I will sit and plan a strategy for future. I will fulfill my role as Chief of Army Staff till the handover,” he told reporters.
Earlier, in the day, General Bipin Rawat paid tribute to the National War Memorial in the national capital. It is worth mentioning here that Lieutenant General Manoj Mukund Naravane will take over as the next chief of Army staff today. He is currently serving as vice-chief of the army.
Coming back to General Bipin Rawat, as the CDS, the outgoing Army chief would be in direct contact with the Prime Minister on security issues. The chiefs of the Army, Navy and the Air Force will report to General Bipin Rawat. He would head the Department of Military Affairs and paid a salary equivalent to a service chief. The United States and Maldives were among the first countries that congratulated General Rawat on his appointment.

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