New Delhi: The situation along the northern borders (LAC) is stable but unpredictable, Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande said on Thursday adding that there has been an increase in the number of troops by the Chinese across the Eastern border but the Indian Army has enough reserves to deal with any contingency.
Addressing the annual press conference ahead of the Army Day, Gen Manoj Pande said, “The situation on our northern borders is stable but unpredictable. We have been able to resolve five of the seven issues that were on the table. We are talking both at the military and diplomatic levels. We have enough reserves to deal with any contingency.”
Responding to a query on challenges for the Indian Army, Gen Pande termed “situation along the northern borders” as one of the challenges.
“One challenge is the situation at the northern border. We have been able to manage the situation in a firm and resolute manner. We have been able to prevent attempts by our adversary (Read China) to unilaterally change the status quo,” he said.
“We have enough troops to cater to any contingency on the northern border. We are keeping a close watch with all our surveillance resource on the northern borders. For winters, some modifications have been done on our deployment,” he added.
When asked about specifics of the PLA infrastructure around Doklam adjacent Bhutan, the Army Chief said that the Indian Army is keeping a close watch on all activities.
“Without going into the specifics, I can say that we are keeping a close watch on Doklam and monitoring all the activities that are taking place there. Beyond this there is nothing that I can share with you,” he said.
The Army Chief also assured that the Indian Army is fully prepared to respond in case a situation on an armed conflict with India’s adversaries arises.
“I would like to assure you that the Army is fully capable, strong and ready if any such situation arises. In case required, the Army is fully prepared to respond,” Gen Pande said.
Responding to a query on infiltration attempts by terrorists, the Army Chief said that Army has been able to foil several infiltration attempts by terrorists in 2022.
“Infiltration has come down significantly in 2022. Last year, there were 12 infiltration attempts in Jammu & Kashmir, out of which 18 infiltrators were killed by the Army. Since our counter infiltration grid has been strong and effective, the focus of our adversary is on the south of Pir Panjal,” he said.
“In many cases, they have tried to drop weapons and explosives from drones. The BSF and the Indian Army have jointly foiled many such attempts. We have procured drone jammers and their efficacy has been found to be good,” he added.
He said that Pakistan has been trying to conduct targeted killings of minorities to spread terror in the Jammu and Kashmir.
Our adversary has been trying to conduct targeted killings of minorities to spread terror, both the Army and the CRPF have increased their deployment, he said.
The Army Chief also informed that a proposal to include women officers in Artillery Regiment has been sent to the government.
We hope that it will be accepted, he said.
Expressing satisfaction in the manner in which the recruitment of Agniveers is being done, the Army Chief said that the level of motivation, enthusiasm and physical fitness of the first batch of Agniveers have been very positive.
Gen Pande said that the nearly 27 Army buildings have developed cracks in Joshimath, however, the situation has not impacted Indian Army’s access to forward areas.
The Army Chief said that the Indian Army has carried out an assessment of the impact of Russia Ukraine conflict on supplies adding “We are looking at alternate sources of for supply of weapons and ammunition”.