‘Pak on back foot on LoC, intrusions down’
President to visit Drass today
JAMMU, July 25: Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat today issued stern warning to Pakistan not to attempt or even think of Kargil like misadventure in future and said the Indian Army has put Pakistan on back foot on the Line of Control (LoC) and it was because of alertness of the troops that infiltration has come down.
Gen Rawat’s warning came as India celebrates 20 years of Kargil war victory, also known as ‘Operation Vijay’, as he camped at Drass in Kargil district, where President Ram Nath Kovind is scheduled to visit tomorrow to pay tributes at the Kargil War Memorial.
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Speaking to reporters at Drass, Gen Rawat, reacting to the statement of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan that Pulwama attack was executed by the homegrown militant, said: “We are aware of the group (the militant outfit). Truth is known to us and our establishment. We won’t get carried away by such statements. Our Intelligence agencies have ample proof (about executors of the attack)’’.
Issuing a warning to Pakistan, the Chief of Army Staff said the Indian Army has ensured that they (Pakistan) remains on alert as “we are also capable of undertaking such (Kargil-like) missions but we will do this only when we are reasonably sure of success’’.
He said but it would be better for Pakistan not to attempt Kargil like misadventure in future. “Don’t ever attempt such a misadventure anytime and anywhere in future. Don’t even think of it,’’ he warned and said he was quite sure the adversary will never attempt this again. This (Kargil war) was a big misadventure by Pakistan army in 1999.
“They (the Pakistan army) didn’t appreciate will and intent of the Indian political establishment and armed forces that they will never allow them to succeed. No matter what heights they capture, the Indian Army will always get back to them and recapture those heights. This was evident during Kargil war in 1999.
“So I will rather say they (the Pakistan army) won’t dare any such attempt in future. Today, we have better surveillance devices but other than that we are sitting on those heights where we think they can come,’’ Gen Rawat said.
Without naming Pakistan, Gen Bipin Rawat said the Army has put them on back-foot and will continue to keep them on back-foot along the Line of Control (LoC) and other places (in Jammu and Kashmir). It may be mentioned here that Pakistani troops continued to violate ceasefire agreement on the LoC in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch quite often. Only a day before, an Army jawan was martyred on the LoC in Sunderbani sector of Rajouri district while Pakistani troops have suffered heavy casualties in retaliatory firing by the Indian troops.
“Our troops have been maintaining high alert all along the LoC and elsewhere. Additional forces have been sent to strengthen the Counter-Infiltration Grid. Pakistan army and terrorists across understand that if they come anywhere close to the LoC, they will go back with dead bodies,’’ the Army chief said and added that infiltration has come down (on the Line of Control) because of the Army actions.
Gen Rawat said the thrust for ‘Make in India’ has already commenced.
“Modernized guns, helicopters and ammunition are being manufactured in India,’’ he added.
Meanwhile, besides the Army chief, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and General Officer Commanding (GOC) Leh Corps Lt Gen YK Joshi besides other senior officers today reached Drass where President Ram Nath Kovind will arrive tomorrow to pay tributes at ‘Kargil War Memorial’.
July 26 is observed every year as ‘Kargil Victory Day’ as it was on this day in 1999 that the Indian Army and Air Force had completely cleared the Kargil heights of Pakistani army personnel and intruders after two month long limited war without crossing the LoC. This year is being celebrated as 20th year of Kargil war victory.