JAMMU, July 31: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today held high level review of security situation along India’s frontiers with Pakistan and China and internal security in Jammu and Kashmir especially ongoing operations against militants in the Valley with top Military Commanders and officials of the Defence Ministry at two day United Commanders’ Conference in the Union capital.
Apart from the Defence Minister, Minister of State for Defence Dr Subhash Bhamre, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, all three Services chiefs including Gen Bipin Rawat, Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa and Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff and top officials of the Ministry of Defence attended the two day conference to discuss situation along the borders with neighbouring countries, mainly India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and internal security situation in the country especially on the militancy front in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Defence Minister addressed the conference and reportedly discussed security challenges before the country on twin fronts including the borders and internal problems arising out of the militancy and steps required to tackle the situation. Requirements of the three Services for future also figured prominently at the Commanders’ Conference, official sources told the Excelsior.
The Defence Minister is reported to have detailed discussions with the top military Commanders, Defence Ministry officials and others at the conference on situation along country’s borders with Pakistan and China besides other neighbours, internal security, and role of defence forces in eliminating militancy especially in the Kashmir valley, future challenges and requirements of the three forces.
An official statement issued by the Ministry of Defence said the Conference provided a platform for discussions at the apex level on all ‘joint issues’ amongst the three Services & Ministry of Defence and enabled stock taking of the previous year and facilitated planning for future.
It said the Defence Minister complemented the Services for their performance and achievements in past year and stressed on the need for greater synergy and jointmanship amongst the Services as well as between the Services and the MoD. She assured the Services that preparedness of the Services would be a top priority for the Government.
Earlier, Chairman Chief of Staff Committee (COSC) and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba welcomed and addressed the august audience. Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal BS Dhanoa, Chief of Army Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat, Defence Secretary, Sanjay Mitra and Chief of Integrated Staff Lt Gen Satish Dua also addressed the conference.
During the conference, under the chairmanship of the Chief of Integrated Staff (CISC), a large number of tri services issues were deliberated thoroughly and solutions to contemporary challenges were provided to facilitate future plans for an integrated robust defence preparedness.
Sources said the top brass gave detailed briefing to the Defence Minister on the situation along country’s frontiers and internal areas. They added that overall the security situation was normal along Pakistan including both Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) with no major ceasefire violations reported for past about one month. Indian Army and BSF remained in dominating position on LoC and IB respectively.
Similarly, no significant transgressions have been reported from Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Jammu and Kashmir and four other States where India shares LAC with China including Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. India was strengthening its infrastructure and other requirements along China border, sources pointed out.
Sources said the country’s strategy on borders with the neighbours and internal security is devised during the United Commanders’ Conference as the meeting is attended by three Services chiefs, top Ministry of Defence and other Security officials.
Issues relating to the three services including ways to ensure convergence among them were discussed at the conference, sources said.
Sources said the scope of this year’s conference has been enhanced to facilitate joint stock taking of the previous year’s performance of all services and departments of the Ministry and jointly chart the course for the next year.
“A large number of tri services issues would be deliberated thoroughly to arrive at solutions to challenges faced and to evolve plans for the future,” they said.
The conference is being held under the aegis of Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS).