Not just surgical strike, more options too available

Top Army Comdr’s stern warning to Pak
Not perturbed over politicization of Mannan killing
Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Oct 17: In a stern warning to Pakistan, Northern Army Command chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh said today that surgical strike is only one of the options and there were wide spectrum of options available to India Army, Northern Command and our great nation to deal with any kind of situation even as he declared that the Indian Army remained committed and fully capable to take any challenging task, whenever required.
He was speaking to media persons at Palampur in Himachal Pradesh on the sidelines of a function.
“Indian Army is prepared for range of options. I want to assure that anytime when situation warrants, we will be able to take action which is deemed appropriate at that time. Surgical strike is one of those option over wide spectrum of options available to Indian Army, Northern Command and our great nation,” the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C), Northern Command, said without naming Pakistan.
Responding to a question on Pakistan Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director Gen Afsar Gafoor warning India of 10 surgical strikes if India carries out another surgical strike, Lt Gen Singh sent out a strong warning to Pakistan saying: “Through you I want to assure the entire nation that Indian Army is committed. We have resolve and when required we are capable to exhibit our capability. It doesn’t really matter what statements are being made and from which quarter.
“It is important for us to retain our capability, refine our capability and to be prepared for any contingency at all times. We are professionally committed and we remain very potent, responsible and accountable instrument of national power and we will be able to achieve our task whenever entrusted to us. Let there will be no doubt about it”.
Responding to a question on glorification of the killing of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) scholar-turned-Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Mannan Wani in Kashmir, the Northern Command chief said: “We are fully cognizant to ground realities and I often interact with wide spectrum of youth. There is lot of potential among youth and our effort is to harness their energy. However, there are some statements politicizing the issues. For armed forces, we don’t get perturbed with politicizing or non-politicizing of issue as long as we remain focused and we don’t get carried away by politics behind any incident. This is where strength of armed forces lies. And I want to mention with great pride that Indian armed forces continued with their task irrespective of challenges”.
He said that as a military man, our task is to remain prepared for any contingency.
Maintaining that there is no change in terror infrastructure across Line of Control (LoC) after taking over of Imran Khan as new Prime Minister, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh said security situation along the LoC and hinterland in Jammu and Kashmir is fragile but under control.
Top Army Commander said that winter strategy will be put in place along LoC and in-depth areas in J&K to ensure militants do not succeed in their designs.
He also said that Army is cognizant about the ground realities with regard to glorification of killing of educated terrorists and radicalization.
“The security situation (along LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir is under control. However, the situation remains fragile (along LoC), because of the attempts by Pakistan to push infiltrators into State of Jammu and Kashmir”, the Northern Command chief said.
“Our counter infiltration grid at LoC and various tiers of the Grid, right up to hinterland, is very effective. It is because of this that over a period of time, we have been able to neutralize a large number of terrorists who were trying to infiltrate”, he said.
The Army Commander, who took part in first paragliding competition at Bir Billing mountainous belt in Palampur area of Himachal Pradesh, said that as far security situation in hinterland is concerned, it is again under control.
“There are occasions when some kind of movement of terrorists is reported. But it is to the credit of security forces that we have been able to ensure relatively peaceful Urban Local Bodies elections concluded just recently. We are also prepared for Panchayat elections which are likely to start soon”, he said.
In reply to a question about winter strategy, Lt Gen Singh, who was architect of surgical strikes in PoK, said that Army keeps changing security strategies as per winter and summer seasons.
“Our aim is to foil designs of militants. When winter starts and it begins snowing, we have to bring change in our deployment and working. This year also we are bringing change in deployment”, he said.
The Army Commander said that the winter strategy will be put in place but it is done slowly as per snowfall. It is ensured that no opportunity is given to the enemy to take benefit of that situation, he said.
He said “Indian Army is alert and is ready to give befitting reply to any action of enemy”.