Despite army chief's restraint, Pakistan gets hard-line message

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    Army chief General Bikram Singh's unmistakably optimistic assessment of the situation on the borders, in Afghanistan, and in Jammu & Kashmir has ironically evoked a sharp rejoinder from the Pakistani military's public relations wing. The reason - with the Indian media reporting only hard line statements, cherry-picked from the army chief's overall positive appraisal, the sense conveyed was of hawkish posturing, rather than the positive mood that Gen Singh tried to strike.

    Speaking at his annual Army Day press conference on Monday, the army chief had made an important statement on ceasefire violations. Insisting the army would not be easily provoked, he stated: "Our country wants to move head. These (ceasefire violations) are issues at the tactical level. And, tactical level operations should not impinge on the strategic initiatives of the nation, which are for growth of the nation in a regional context. They are part of the grand strategy of the nation. My job is to ensure that I engage the adversary where necessary to the quantum of force that is required and do not escalate the situation into one that will impinge on the strategic initiatives."

    He said after the two armies' operational chiefs, the director generals of military operations (DGMOs), held talks last month, relative calm had been restored on the Line of Control (LoC). He stated: "I think it is a move in the right direction to ensure that the ceasefire holds and the environment over there is conducive for development on both sides and the aspirations of the locals. A large number of locals in those areas suffer (in firing incidents) and the ceasefire looks after their aspirations."

    The army chief added, "At the moment I am quite positive… We are having the meeting of two brigade commanders the dates for which have not been fixed. The DGMOs are speaking to each other on the hotline on a regular basis. We are hopeful that this will result in ensuring ceasefire along the LoC."

    At the same time, Gen Singh revealed the Indian Army was responding to firing with firing. "Let me assure you that action has been taken. If you see the Pakistani media, I was watching Geo TV on 23rd December, they were talking of one (Pakistani) officer and nine jawans being killed, and 12 or 13 being wounded. This has happened due to the firing of your soldiers on the ground," he asserted.

    The army chief was upbeat about the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between China and India, stating the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement the two countries signed last October would ensure "better understanding and bonhomie and peace and tranquillity on the borders."

    Taking a broader strategic view of patrol violations on the ground, he said, "This agreement is going to further strengthen the understanding at the LAC level and even at the army headquarters level and also at the national level. Our endeavour is to move ahead in right earnest to ensure that we maintain peace and tranquillity to enable the strategic and national initiatives to fructify and consolidate."

    In contrast to the foreign ministry's pessimistic assessments about Pakistani influence growing in Afghanistan after the NATO troop drawdown this year, the army chief believes the Afghan National Army (ANA) would hold its own against any challenges. "Given the capacity that has been given by the international community, along with our contribution, the ANA and police forces should be able to deal with the situation."

    While Indian intelligence agencies have sounded dire warnings about jihadi fighters from Afghanistan being funnelled into J&K after NATO leaves, the army chief was far less pessimistic, conveying this was no more than a possibility. "A good army man hopes for the best but caters for the worst. From that point of view, it is axiomatic, it is imperative that we see that there might be a certain spillover from Afghanistan into Jammu & Kashmir. There are certain inputs alluding to this already. And therefore we need to be on our guard," he said. Asked about the possibility of withdrawing the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from J&K, the army chief did not reject the idea as flatly as the army has done in the past. He said, "We need to look at what happens in Afghanistan in 2014 before we can (consider revoking AFSPA). Perhaps it may be prudent to watch and wait for a while."

    Despite army chief's restraint, Pakistan gets hard-line message | Business Standard
     
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  3. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    Army chief coldshoulders diplomats from Pakistan

    Pakistani diplomats — including the high commissioner to India, Salman Bashir — were not invited to a reception hosted by army chief General Bikram Singh on Wednesday to mark the 66th army day, two days after the general said his force had avenged the murders of Indian soldiers along the line of control (LoC).

    Bilateral ties, battered by the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, plunged to a new state of crisis last year due to the beheading incident, the killing of five Indian soldiers in the Poonch sector and repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

    Pakistani diplomats have in the past attended ceremonial receptions hosted by the service chiefs. Pakistani defence attaché Brigadier Saqib Malik and air attaché group Captain Irfan Zaka were seen only at the army day parade in Delhi Cantt.

    General Singh on Monday had indicated India had avenged the murders of its soldiers along the LoC last year by inflicting casualties on the neighbouring army. He had also warned Pakistan against border violations, saying India could not be expected to stick to rules if the neighbour was breaking them.

    Quoting Pakistani news reports that 10 of their soldiers were killed and another 11 injured in recent clashes along the LoC, Singh had said, “That happened due to firing by your soldiers.”

    Top Indian and Pakistani generals heading the crucial military operations directorates last month held talks for the first time in 14 years, where the Indian side confronted the Pakistanis over the LoC murders and border violations.

    Ministry of external affairs sources said the ministry had nothing to do with the invitations sent by service chiefs for ceremonial receptions held at their homes.

    Army chief coldshoulders diplomats from Pakistan - Hindustan Times
     
  4. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    As I was reading the first article, I noticed that there is no mention of the Daulat Beg Oldie incident.
     
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