India reserves right of pre-emptive strike on Pakistan terror targets: New Army chief


(Online Desk)

Hours after taking over as the new Army Chief, General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Tuesday said India reserves the right to preemptively strike at sources of terror if Pakistan does not stop state-sponsored terrorism.

Speaking to a couple of news agencies, Gen Naravane said a strategy of “resolute punitive response” has been evolved to punish cross-border terror. “Multiple options across the spectrum of conflict are on the table to respond to any act of terror sponsored or abetted by Pakistan,” he said. “A new normal in our response mechanism has been emphatically underlined,” he added.

On the reading down of Article 370 in J&K, he said, the situation in Kashmir has since improved significantly.  “However, the problem remains. It has not gone away. So, we will always be ready (to take) whatever measures are required to deal with the challenges there,” he added.

Talking about the security challenges along the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control with China, said the focus has shifted from the Western border to the Northern border as part of re-balancing of priorities. “We will continue to improve capability building along the Northern border so we are prepared when the need arises.”

He pointed out that transgressions occur due to differences in perception on where Line of Actual Control lies. The Army Chief stressed that the bottom line for reform in the Army will be to increase efficiency and operational readiness. Referring to the appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff, he said it will significantly reform the entire military system.