JAMMU, Apr 20: Top Army Commanders’ three day conference, which concluded today, had Jammu and Kashmir as one of the major area of focus for threadbare discussions, among other host of issues, including situation on the frontiers with Pakistan and China apart from infiltration, militancy and, to some extent, the radicalization of youth.
Growing needs of the troops in the context of modernized ways of conflicts, latest gadgetry, increase in manpower, enhanced training etc were among the issues that also figured in the conference.
Sources told the Excelsior that the Army Commanders’ Conference, which is attended by about a dozen Generals including Army chief, vice chiefs and heads of the Commands including Northern and Western Commands, which have their areas of operation in Jammu and Kashmir, had detailed strategy session on the situation developing along Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) with Pakistan and Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in J&K and other States.
According to sources, the Army Commanders were now equally concerned over situation along frontiers with Pakistan and China as the latter continued to show its overtures on different issues and there was unanimity that the infrastructure has to be developed along LAC with China in all five States including Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, which share un-demarcated boundary with China.
Sources said there was general perception that the troops would strengthen their positions along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir to counter infiltration attempts by the militants from Pakistan side amidst reports that there was vast presence of militants on Pakistan border, who could attempt to intrude into this side during summer when snow passes melt.
The Northern Army Commander and the Western Army Commander were reported to have given detailed analysis of the situation along the frontiers with Pakistan and China in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab and more steps required to keep an upper hand over Pakistan and match the strength of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China.
“Strategy for twin front conflict is also a major topic of discussion as troops want to be prepared for any kind of eventuality,” sources pointed out.
India shares about 4200 kilometers un-demarcated boundary with China in five States, which is called LAC and despite repeated round of talks, the two neighbours, which turn hostile many a times on trivial issues like incursions on the LAC, haven’t been able to work out a solution to it.
“The conference deliberated extensively on the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Though the Army Generals were satisfied that the troops have been to keep check on infiltration on the LoC and tackle militancy in the hinterland, they were of the view that summer is more crucial and Pakistan could make large-scale attempts to push infiltrators into the sensitive State to create trouble.
“A strategy was discussed to counter attempts by Pakistan and the militants,” sources said.
According to sources, a detailed note is prepared by the Army on its Commanders’ Conference and requirements stressed by the Generals are discussed with the Defence Minister, who, in turn, takes it up with the Centre and then efforts are made to ensure that all demands voiced by the troops are met with.
According to sources, the Army was concerned about lack of infrastructure development and modernized gadgetry, which was in possession of the PLA, which it displayed on the occasion of China Day though it was satisfied that attempts were have been initiated by the Government to ensure that the India Army didn’t lag behind China.
They added that the issue of Non-Functional Upgrade (NFU) also figured during the deliberations. There has been demand for implementing NFU in the armed forces. Under the NFU scheme, officers in central group A category get automatic time-bound pay promotions. Pay hike under NFU scheme are independent of organizational requirements and vacancy.