The new Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane has said the army has “various plans” for operations in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and is ready for “any task”. In an interview with NDTV, asked if India can look at military operations in PoK as something than can be realistically achieved, General Naravane said: “We have our forces deployed all along the border including Jammu and Kashmir and we have various plans and if required, those plans can be put into action. We will carry out and carry out successfully any task that we are tasked to do.”
Asked if that can include operations in PoK on a larger scale, he told NDTV, “Should that be the mandate”.
The army chief had tough words on Pakistan and the terror it sponsors after he took over from General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday. In such a situation, India “reserves the right to pre-emptively strike at the sources of terror”, he said.
Over the last four years, the armed forces have carried out two much publicised operations in keeping with the government’s tough line on terror.
In 2016, surgical strikes were held against terror camps across the Line of Control following the attack on an army camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri. In February last year, the Air Force targeted a training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pakistan’s Balakot after the suicide attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama.
But Union Minister Rajnath Singh had more in mind when he issued an open warning to Pakistan in September amid the tension with Pakistan over the Centre’s move to scrap Article 370.
“You can see they’re already getting discouraged. Pakistan PM comes to PoK and suggests Pakistanis not to go to the border. It’s good because if they come, they’ll not be able to go back to Pakistan. They should not commit the mistake of repeating 1965 and 1971,” Mr Singh had said.
“If they (Pakistan) repeat it, then they should think what will become of PoK,” he had added.
For now, the army chief said, the task is to “make sure that incursions or infiltrations do not take place”. “We need to maintain a high state of vigil round the clock, in different terrains and climactic conditions and that is indeed a very hard task,” he added.