Border, K-situation to dominate meet
Stern message to Pak likely
JAMMU, Sept 23: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval besides top officials of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will address crucial conference of Military Commanders at Jodhpur, Rajasthan on September 28 in which situation along Pakistan frontiers especially in Jammu and Kashmir and security situation in the Valley will figure predominantly.
This is a rare occasion when the conference of top Military Commanders, which will be attended by Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, is being held outside the national capital, official sources told the Excelsior.
The three Services chief would brief the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister on situation prevailing along International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, mainly in Jammu and Kashmir, Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in five States of J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh and situation in the Kashmir valley, where militants had been targeting police personnel and civilians, mainly with a view to sabotage Panchayat and Municipal elections, besides other strategic issues.
Describing presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his address to top Army Commanders including three Service chiefs as very significant, sources said the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister and the National Security Advisor could outline defence policy, doctrine and operational challenges and take detailed view of the situation from top Commanders of the country.
Significantly, the high-level conference of Army Commanders is being held just a day before the country will celebrate second anniversary of Army’s successful surgical strikes against Pakistan at four places in Jammu and Kashmir. The Army had eliminated number of militants and destroyed their camps during surgical strikes on September 29, 2016. The second anniversary of the surgical strikes is being observed with great pomp and show to boost morale of the soldiers.
The country’s security challenges, current structure of the three services and how to make them modern and strengthen them is expected to be discussed at the conference.
Though the agenda of the conference is classified, but it is expected that the Prime Minister will be sending a strategic message to Imran Khan led new Government in Pakistan.
In this conference, defence strategy, operational preparations and policies of the three services will be discussed where the three Chiefs will be in open communication with the Prime Minister, sources said.
It is expected that the PM will make the officials aware about his Government’s vision, policies and intentions. At the same time, the Commanders will openly discuss the strength and weakness of the forces. Apart from this it is expected that a future defence strategic policy could also be discussed prominently.
The high-level conference also comes close on the heels of first incident of mutilation of BSF jawan’s body on the International Border (IB) in Ramgarh sector of Samba district by the Pakistani Rangers recently and stepped-up violence in the Kashmir Valley including the killings of police personnel and civilians ahead of Panchayat and Municipal elections, which were scheduled to be held shortly and process for which has already been initiated.
“Kashmir situation has been on top of agenda of the Central Government as well as top brass of the Army. A threadbare discussion will be held on more steps required to tackle infiltration attempts by the militants on the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan and neutralize the militants in the Valley especially South Kashmir, where there was high presence of both foreign and local ultras,” sources said, adding that security forces could take some pro-active steps to tackle militancy in the Valley as well as check infiltration attempts on the LoC and IB.
Only yesterday, Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat had stated that stern action was needed to teach Pakistan a lesson for barbaric killing of the Border Security Force jawan Narender Singh in Ramgarh sector of Samba district, who had been tortured and killed.
Sources said the troops were fully prepared to meet with any eventuality in the wake of killing of the BSF soldier in Ramgarh sector. However, at the same time, the Government has to keep in mind the successful conduct of Municipal and Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the process for which has already been initiated and was at advanced stage.