NEW DELHI, Jan 15:
Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat today promised tough position against terrorism and warned Pakistan that any ceasefire violation on the Line of Control (LoC) would be responded befittingly with “force”.
Gen Rawat, who said India wants peace on the frontiers with Pakistan as well as China, said, “Our efforts to restore peace on the border must not be viewed as our weakness” as “While being always ready, our policy is to take action at any place and any time.”
He said, “I understand that our competitors” are aware of the strengths of the Indian Armed forces.
“Despite Pakistan’s continuous support to proxy war against India, we want peace on the Line of Control,” he said addressing officers and jawans of the force at Parade Ground here on the occasion of Army Day.
“However, We will not hesitate from giving a fitting reply in case of any ceasefire violation,” said Gen Rawat, who took over as head of the 12 lakh-strong force only 15 days back.
He said “ceasefire violations or untoward incidents propagated by Pakistan will be responded to by force” by the Indian Army.
“I repeat, we will give a befitting reply to any action on LoC or the border,” the Army chief said.
His warning to Pakistan came two days after he made it clear that more surgical strikes cannot be ruled out as India has the “right to retaliate” if Pakistan does not react positively to offers of peace.
On the terror menace, he said the situation on this front had “become very sensitive recently but due to brave action of the armed forces on the ground, we were able to improve on the situation.”
He hailed the commendable job being done by the soldiers to stop the cross-border infiltration.
“On the northern front, India wants peace with China. Both sides are adopting Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) so that tension on the border can be reduced. Despite transgressions on LAC, the armies on both sides have improved on mutual coordination,” said Gen Rawat.
Rawat said jawans who take to social media to express their complaints could be punished as their act lowers the morale of those guarding the frontiers of the country.
“If any jawan has any grievance, he has been provided with the proper forum to resolve his issue and maintain a balance. If you are not satisfied with the action, then you can contact me directly,” Gen Rawat said.
“Aapne jo karwai ki hai aap iske liye apradhjanak hain, aur saza ke haqdaar ho sakte hain (You are violating rules by your act and you could be punished for that),” he said, referring to instances of jawans taking to social media to air their grievances.
“It (airing of grievances on social media) has (negative) impact on the brave jawans who are serving the country along the border,” he said.
The Army chief inspected the parade at Field Marshal Cariappa Parade Ground here. Marching contingents from six different regiments and display of missile systems such as Brahmos and Akash were among the highlights of the event.
What stole the show was combat demonstration by different schools of infantry which fired medium-range guns, besides battle tanks rolling past the parade.
“87 defence attaches from 35 countries including the US, Japan, Russia, China, Israel and African nations marked their presence at the event,” said a senior Army official.
The function came to an end with Indian Army’s ‘Janbaaz’ motorcycle daredevils performing stunts and a team of paramotorists displaying tricolour and flags of the three defence forces.
Meanwhile, the South Western Command celebrated Army Day by paying tributes to the martyrs at a colourful ceremony in Jaipur.
The area around the Amar Jawan Jyoti reverberated with patriotic military tunes and a display by drummers mesmerised all present for the occasion.
Helicopter display and dances like Bhangra and Naga dances as also a dog show evoked great interest and enthusiasm amongst the gathering.
Wreaths were laid by State Industry Minister Rajpal Singh Shekhwat and Lt Gen Saranjeet Singh, YSM, Chief of Staff, South Western Command.
In his address, Lt Gen Singh conveyed his greetings to all serving and retired Defence personnel of the South Western Command.
He exhorted all personnel to be ready to face the multi-faceted challenges of the modern day battlefield in order to reach the pinnacle of glory.
The 69th Army Day was also celebrated in Mathura where Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, General Officer Commanding Strike 1 Corps, laid the wreath at the war memorial.
Army Day is celebrated every year on January 15 to mark the taking over of command of the Indian Army by the first Indian Commander-in-Chief, Lt Gen (Later Field Marshal) K M Cariappa on this day in 1948.
He took over the reins of the Indian Army from Lt Gen Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief. (PTI)