Protecting frontiers


“We will not give any space to militants nor shall we move out of strategic Siachen” thundered the intrepid Commander of the Northern Command while speaking to media persons on the occasion of Amy Mela at Nowshera. With distinctive self-confidence and full grasp of ground situation, Lt. Gen. K.T. Parnaik, reputed among defence echelons for his incisive analysis and eloquent expression, assured the nation that northern borders of the country are made impregnable. In his interaction with the press, a wide range of defence and security related issues concerning the Northern Command in general but J&K in particular were touched upon. He was very forthright which responding to queries about sensitive issues like Siachen, AFSPA, East Ladakh border with China, infiltration, militancy, civil-army coordination etc. When asked about Siachen or AFSPA, his answer reflected not only the resoluteness and purposefulness of a professional commander who has braved many weathers but also the grace and dignity of a statesman with inimitable finesse. The Army, he reiterated, had done its job, and the Government will do its part. Dispelling doubts and apprehensions of Chinese threat to our borders in Ladakh region, the Commander clarified that stray incidents did not make the rule. Indirectly he advised the media not to blow things out of proportion and not to sensitise civil society on delicate issues.  More than any other commander, Lt. General Parnaik has made his Command’s “sadhbhavna mission” a result-oriented enterprise that helps build bridges of understanding between the army and civilians. While maintaining the core of its professional culture, the army, under his command, has given a new dimension to army-civilian relationship. The essence of this venture is to prove to the civilian population that army is peoples’ army in letter and in spirit. This is no simple an ideal either to formulate or to achieve.
Observers have noted that the Commander of the Northern Command and the Chief of the Army Staff, General Bikram Singh both are in complete synergy while reflecting on security related issues. Pakistan wants India withdraw from Siachen Glacier and leave it unguarded. Pakistan is not prepared to react to India’s apprehension of recurrence of a mischief like that of “non-state actors” fraud of Kargil clashes. By inducting thousands of PLA troops “to guard” the construction of roads, railway and hydro-electric power stations in Gilgit-Baltistan region (now under Pakistan’s illegal occupation) Pakistan has added a negative dimension to Siachen Glacier issue. By this move, Pakistan has not only maximally reduced chances of any amicable solution, but has given India justification for declining to make any concession in regard to Siachen. General Kiyani’s imploring that Siachen be demilitarized was essentially to mollify public spite for senselessness of enormous loss of precious human lives lost happened as a result of the mighty avalanche. If he was motivated by human element, he would have accepted India’s pragmatic view of how the two countries would withdraw from the death-trap of Siachen. The Commander of the Northern Command and the Army Chief both have made a common statement that India has shed much blood on Siachen. We have mounted guard on this treacherous killer glacier to secure our northern frontier against any perfidy by two neighbours, who are in inimical collusion against us.
In his interaction with the media, the Army Chief reflected on a host of subjects connected with the security and defence preparedness of the army. His assurance to the nation that our borders are safe and well secured is received with much satisfaction. In fact, it has infused the nation with renewed faith and trust in our gallant armed forces that have always risen to occasion whenever the country was faced with challenge either man-made or nature-made.
We have already been told that there is a proposal with the Northern Command to maximally upgrade security preparedness in entire Ladakh and the rest of the border areas in Jammu and Kashmir.  Preparedness is in terms of armament, man power and related logistics and infrastructure.  Obviously, much midnight oil burning and planning have gone into this exercise. Thanks to the General and his team, we can raise our head in pride and say in loud voice, “The nation is safe in the hands of its defence forces. Long live our nation and our valiant jawans.”


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