Issuing a warning to Pakistan, the new 28th Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Manoj Naravane, on Tuesday said that Pakistan cannot fool anyone anymore as it wages a proxy war, in his first interview after taking charge. He said that India had been a victim of terror for a long time, but now the world was getting aware of it. Talking on the increased ceasefire violations, he said that the Army was fully ready to foil all infiltration bids along LoC.
"Terrorism is a world-wide problem of which India has been on the receiving end for a very long time. Our neighbours are using terrorism as a part of state policy to continue a proxy war while maintaining deniability. This state cannot maintain for long - you cannot fool the people for long," he said, adding, "We are aware that there are terrorists in launch pads waiting to enter, but we are fully prepared for this through counter-insurgency grid," he said.
Speaking on the Indian Army's skirmishes with the Chinese Army, he said the variation in the LoAC was the reason for skirmishes. He added that the recent Wuhan summit has given directions to maintain peace along our border in Arunachal Pradesh. Talking about his main aim as army chief, he said maintaining operational readiness will be first priority.
"These transgressions are occurring due to the difference in perspective as to where the Line of Actual Control lies. Post-Wuhan summit, strategic directions have been given as to how peace can be maintained along the border which has been disseminated down the chain of command in both countries. This has resulted in a lot of improvement on the ground level at the battalion-level," he said, adding, "On the occasion of the new year that is tomorrow, we will be having celebratory border personnel meeting in no less than 5 locations all across the line of control."
He added, "Due to my experience in the Army, I have been able to get a good idea of the training and operation. Hence I believe that we must maintain our high standards of operational readiness. It is not a one-time thing, we must work on it continuously with good machinery, tactics, strategy and morale of the men. This would be my main aim."
Earlier in the day, Lieutenant General Manoj Mukund Naravane took over as the 28th Chief of Army Staff on December 31 from General Bipin Rawat whose three-year tenure as COAS which came to an end on the same day. Lieutenant General Naravane was the Vice Chief of Army Staff, the second in command to General Bipin Singh Rawat. 4-star General Bipin Rawat has been appointed as India's first Chief of Defence Staff and his ceremonial functions will be held on Wednesday - 1 January 2020 at 8 AM.