Gen MM Naravane today said the Indian Army would not let any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo along the country’s borders succeed. Addressing the Army Day parade, the Indian Army chief said, “Our message is clear. The Indian Army will not let any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo along the country’s borders succeed.”
Dealing with the standoff with China on eastern Ladakh, he said, “Last year was extremely challenging for the army. Joint efforts at various levels led to disengagement in many areas which is a constructive step. The 14th round of military-level talks was held between India and China recently to keep the situation under control.”
“There was disengagement at multiple points last year. Joint efforts at various levels led to disengagement in many areas which is a constructive step,” he still said.
Regarding the Line of Control (LoC) on the western border, the army chief said the situation is better than the previous year, but Pakistan is still harbouring terrorists. “Nearly 300-400 terrorists are waiting to intrude in India. A total of 144 terrorists were killed in counter operations,” he said.
The army chief asserted that the morale of the soldiers deployed on snow-capped mountains for the country’s security was sky-high.
“Our patience is a sign of our self-confidence, but no one should make the mistake of testing it,” Gen Naravane said.
On the role of women in the armed forces, General Naravane said the army had taken major steps to give equal opportunity to women. “Now they can be in a high position and take bigger responsibilities. This year in NDA (National Defence Academy), women cadets will be included and women will also join as Army pilots,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the three service chiefs — Gen Naravane, Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and Indian Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar — paid their tributes at the National War Memorial in Delhi to mark the day. The armed forces chiefs also laid a wreath at the war memorial.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind extended their greetings on Army Day, which is observed on 15 January to mark Field Marshall KM Cariappa taking over as the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, replacing his British predecessor in 1949.