STATE TIMES NEWSNEW DELHI: Army Chief General MM Naravane on Thursday said that his force is not allowing any disruptive actions by Pakistan Army’s Border Action Team (BAT) as the Army foils the attempts even before the adversary is able to launch them. “We have been getting inputs. We have been able to foil (Pakistan Army’s) BAT action attempts even before they have been able to launch them,” he said. The BAT of the Pakistan Army include both regular Army personnel and mercenaries from groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and are tasked to carry out surprise hits on Indian positions along the LoC. General Naravane underlined that there are 15-20 terrorist camps inside Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir where there are around 250-350 terrorists at any given time. The numbers may vary at different times. Speaking on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Gen Naravane said terror incidents have seen a downturn and the Army is maintaining pressure on terror groups. There is an external dimension to the decrease in cross-border terrorism, he said, in oblique reference to the ongoing Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary. Pakistan may have to rethink strategy as even China realised they cannot back their all-weather friend all the time, the Army chief said on the FATF plenary. A sub-group of the global terror financing watchdog FATF on Tuesday recommended continuation of Pakistan in the ‘Grey List’ for its failure to check terror funding. On exclusive theatre command for Jammu and Kashmir the Army Chief said, it is at an “ideation stage” and there will be detailed discussions before anything is finalised, Army chief Gen M M Naravane said on Thursday. Gen Naravane’s remarks come days after Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat said there are plans to have a separate theatre command for Jammu and Kashmir which will include the IB (International Boundary) portion. “It (theatre command for J&K) is at the ideation stage. The broad contours have not been finalised. There will be detailed discussions before anything is finalised. We must make a roadmap,” Gen Naravane told a select group of reporters.
Gen Rawat had said security challenges in Jammu and Kashmir will be handled by a dedicated theatre command in a major revamp of existing structures.
Army Chief also said a roadmap has been prepared to implement the Supreme Court’s judgement to grant permanent commission to women officers, asserting that the force does not discriminate against any soldier.
The Supreme Court on Monday had directed that women officers in the Army be granted permanent commission and command postings.
“We have made a roadmap. We will send letters to all women officers asking whether they will prefer permanent commissioning,” Gen Naravane told a select group of reporters here.
“Indian Army does not discriminate (against) any soldier based on religion, caste, creed, or even gender. The outlook of the Indian Army has been throughout like this and that is why we started inducting women officers as early as in 1993,” he said.
Indian Army has taken the initiative to induct women in rank and file, and the first batch of 100 women soldiers is undergoing training at Corps of Military Police Centre and School, he said.
“The Supreme Court’s decision is a welcome one as it brings out a sense of clarity and purpose to gainfully employ officers for better efficiency of the organisation. I must assure that everybody in the Indian Army including women officers will be given equal opportunity to contribute to the nation as also progress in their careers,” he said hailing the verdict as enabling.
When asked on the health condition of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the army chief only said security forces are geared up to take care of any situation.
He also said the proposed Thal Sena Bhawan will bring all Army headquarter offices under one roof thereby improving the working efficiency, while reducing the carbon footprint and logistics requirements.
“It will also allow more family time for all soldiers tenating peace posting at Delhi,” Gen Naravane said.
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