JAMMU, Jan 5: On his first three-day visit to any State after assuming charge of the Army chief of third largest military in the world, Gen Bipin Rawat today held high-level review of security situation along Pakistan and China borders and hinterland during his meetings with top Army Commanders at Northern Command and Nagrota Corps and visits to forward areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in Akhnoor and Rajouri sectors.
Gen Rawat is also scheduled to visit forward areas of Kupwara and Anantnag, 15 Corps Headquarters in Srinagar and Siachen Glacier, the highest battlefield in the world, located at the height of 18,500 feet from the sea level during the next two days before returning to New Delhi.
Official sources told the Excelsior the fact that the new Army chief undertook his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir within five days of assuming charge showed the importance the Army attached to the protection of borders with Pakistan and China and containing militancy in the State. Gen Rawat had taken over the new Army chief in the afternoon of December 31 from Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag.
Sources said Gen Rawat held high level review of security situation prevailing along the LoC with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir and Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Ladakh during his meeting with Northern Command chief Lt Gen Devraj Anbu at the Command Headquarters in Udhampur, where the Army chief reached this morning from New Delhi.
Though the LoC was generally calm, Pakistan continued to aid and abet infiltration attempts by the militants by giving them covering fire. One such attempt was recently observed in Shahpur area of Poonch sector.
Gen Rawat emphasized that Army needs to evolve a dynamic strategy to handle the proxy war and defeat enemy’s nefarious designs, both along the borders as well as internal areas.
Sources said entire gamut of security along the LoC including operational preparedness of the troops, Security Grids on LoC and hinterland, Intelligence set-up, anti-infiltration measures and situation post-September 29 surgical strikes came up for high level review during the meeting.
Troops have successfully thwarted several infiltration attempts along the LoC in the recent past.
According to sources, situation in the internal areas of Jammu and Kashmir especially the Kashmir valley, where number of militants was still high, was also reviewed and steps discussed on counter-militancy operations.
General Rawat lauded the role of Northern Command in restoring peace and normalcy during the recent unrest in the Kashmir valley, which had started after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen divisional commander Burhan Wani.
He commended the soldiers for strongly reciprocating the unprovoked ceasefire violations by Pakistan, which had rocked LoC in the aftermath of September 29 surgical strikes in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) in which 50 militants and Pakistan army personnel were killed.
The Army chief said: “every soldier of our Army plays an important role towards security of the nation because it is the contribution of every soldier that makes the Army efficient and strong”.
Later, the Army chief visited 16 Corps Headquarters of the Army and had detailed inter-action with the top Army Commanders including General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Corps Lt Gen AK Sharma.
Gen Rawat flew to Akhnoor and Rajouri and visited forward areas along the LoC, where he met the Formation Commanders and the Army jawans. He lauded the courage and bravery with which the troops were manning the LoC and boosted their morale.
During his next two-day visit, the Army chief would tour forward areas along LoC in Kupwara and Anantnag sector, meet Army Commanders at 15 Corps Headquarters in Srinagar to review situation in the Valley along LoC and internal areas and Siachen Glacier, the highest battlefield in the world, where temperature dip to several degree Celsius.
Sources said the Army chief would have first hand information of security situation along LoC and LAC with China and Pakistan and operation requirements of the troops during his visit to forward areas and meetings with the top Army Commanders.