Will give appropriate response to any aggression: Army Comdr

‘Pak using narco-terror for proxy war’

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Feb 7: The Army today said it was ready to give a befitting response to any Chinese aggression in Ladakh, maintaining that the integrity of the country was being ensured through physical patrolling and technical means.
Addressing the Northern Command Investiture Ceremony here, General officer Commanding in Chief Lt General Upendra Dwivedi also said that the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has brought forth many lessons such as employment of disrutpive and dual use technologies.
“On the LAC, our response to Chinese attempts to unilaterally change the status quo was a swift, undaunted and synergised action by the Indian Armed Forces.Any adverse aggressive designs or attempts will definitely be met with appropriate posturing of Forces and a strong intent with complete synergy among the three services,” he said.
He said measures to resolve the Line of Actual Control (LAC) situation at diplomatic and operational levels are also simultaneously underway.
“I assure you that the LAC in Eastern Ladakh is being dominated by physical patrolling and through technical means and our territorial integrity is being ensured,” he added.
Lt Gen Dwivedi said the Northern Command is in a high state of readiness and morale, to face constantly evolving threats and challenges.
“The security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh poses many challenges in terrain and operational dynamics, especially from different adversaries along the Northern and Western borders. We are committed to defending India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity while upholding the democratic traditions of the Nation.
“We are maintaining a constant vigil, monitoring all developments and will take all necessary steps to protect our national interests,” he said.
The Army Commander noted that cyber and space have emerged as new domains of warfare.
“Information warfare, cyber and space have emerged as new domains of warfare. Gray zone warfare in both the kinetic and non-kinetic domains is a challenge and we have adapted well to the ambiguities associated with strategies,” he said.
“It is essential that we equip ourselves, progressively factor and consider these peculiarities to facilitate better and more effective war fighting,” he added.
He said the Army is prepared to meet any challenges in the future and will always work for the betterment of the people of the region.
“The last two years have brought to the fore newer challenges in the wake of abrogation of Article 370, the Galwan conflict and multiple waves of COVID-19,” he said.
“These challenges have only served to strengthen our resolve to be steadfast and determined in our commitment,” he added.
On the steps taken for improving the life of soldiers and local residents of Ladakh, he said special clothing in seven layers and mountaineering equipment are being indigenised to increase the capability of soldiers in high altitude areas (HAA).
“The study of Intermittent Oxygen Inhalation, has been initiated with an aim to improve the overall health conditions in acclimatisation of combat soldiers, deployed for more than one year in HAA,” he said.
The Army Commander said the Pan-India Project of Network for Spectrum has reached completion in the last one year and approximately 57 per cent of this project is rolled out in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
“The Army has in conjunction with the Ministry of Communication identified 144 villages in remote areas of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir for installation of 4G/5G towers. Assistance in terms of sharing tower space and support infrastructure is being provided to telecom service providers, so that this critical facility reaches population residing in remote border villages,” he added.
Lt Gen Dwivedi also said that the Army was now working with the UT Government of Ladakh to facilitate tourism in border areas.
Lt Gen Dwivedi said Kashmir has witnessed a concerning rise in narco-terrorism as Pakistan is now using this as a new tool in its proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir.
Lt General Upendra Dwivedi, said the neighbouring country is sending drugs and weapons through drones in an attempt to disrupt the social fabric here.
Lt Gen Dwivedi exhorted all ranks of the Northern Command to be prepared for a variety of challenges on the internal and external security fronts.
“Kashmir has witnessed a concerning rise in narco-terrorism, as Pakistan is now using this as a new tool in its proxy war. Of late, a dual strategy of sending across drugs as well as weapons through drones is being employed to keep the fire burning in an attempt to disrupt the social fabric,” he said.
The Army Commander said the crossborder smuggling of narcotics aided terror activities in the Union Territory.
“Security forces are alive to this trend and have already initiated counter-drone measures to curb the menace,” he added.
Lt Gen Dwivedi said the situation along the Line of Control has remained stable and the ceasefire understanding with Pakistan continues to sustain.
“A very strict vigil and a robust technology-enabled multi-tier counter-infiltration grid is being maintained to thwart any attempts at infiltration. Ceasefire violations, infiltration bids or any other misadventure attempted by the adversary will be dealt with firmly,” he added.
The Army Commander said numerous infiltration bids have been foiled in the last year while the highest standards of professionalism and synergy displayed by the troops in all dimensions of counterterror operations has nullified or limited the kinetic threat.
“Our focus continues to reinforce our intelligence setup by synergising with all stakeholders and sister agencies to usher in peace and undertake developmental activities. The dividends of peace and stability are reaching the people in far-flung areas and they are participating wholeheartedly to preserve and sustain this peace,” he said.
He called for the involvement and cooperation of all stakeholders in implementing the Agnipath Scheme and in guiding the soldiers recruited under it — Agniveers — for performing to their optimum potential.
“I wish to reiterate that our flag does not fly because of the winds that move it; it flies with the last breath of soldiers who have sacrificed themselves protecting it. The nation looks up to us in times of crisis and we have to live up to the hopes and trust reposed on us by our countrymen,” he said.