Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Tuesday said that the forces are ready to take on any kind of external and internal threat. Naravane’s statement came during the annual Army Day press conference.
The Army chief started off by highlighting the challenges faced last year but added that the forces managed to “come out on top”. “Main challenge was Covid-19 and situation in northern borders. Army geared up to tackle all external or any other threat,” he said.
Naravane also said that the Indian Army has maintained a high state o alertness along the northern borders.
“We have gone in winter posturing and we are left all along the boundary. We are hoping for a peaceful solution but we are ready to meet any eventuality. All logistics (are) taken care of,” he added.
On the need to restructure, the Army chief said, “We are transforming ourselves from manpower-intensive to technology-enabled force. A study was commissioned and a broad roadmap has been prepared to bring in all the new technologies to develop a technology-enabled army to meet challenges of future,” he said.
“All that transpired last year has brought out the need to restructure and enhance capabilities. All-round development has taken place and we have signed multiple contracts. I am also glad to say that 80-85 per cent contracts signed are with Indian companies keeping in mind the call for at Aatmanirbhar Bharat by the prime minister,” Naravane added.
On China, Pakistan threat
The army chief also highlighted Pakistan-sponsored terror activities and said that such actions will not be tolerated. Naravane also said that there are friction points in Eastern Ladakh too and added that the Chinese have built a lot of infrastructure like roads and barracks on their side.
“There was indeed a requirement of rebalancing towards northern borders and that is what we have put in place now. We are prepared to hold our ground as long it takes to achieve our national goals and objectives,” he said.
“Pakistan and China together form a potent threat. Every year, the PLA come to traditional areas. Those training areas have been vacated. The troops who had come to Tibetan plateau have gone back. No reduction of troops on friction points from both sides,” he added.
On the ongoing conflict with the Chinese PLA at the Ladakh border, he said, “There has been no change in the status quo. The situation is the same as last year. Disengagement from friction areas and overall de-escalation in the forward areas are way ahead.”