Terror camps continue to 'exist in Pakistan': Army Chief MM Naravane to WION

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 02, 2020, 09.05 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal Edited By: Shivani Kumar

Army Chief MM Naravane Photograph:( WION )

Story highlights

Speaking to WION's correspondent Sidhant Sibal, Naravane also said that after the 2018 Wuhan informal summit, India and China forces have developed greater understanding.

Terror camps, terror launch pads and terror infrastructure continue to exist in Pakistan, the new Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane told WION on Tuesday.

Speaking to WION's correspondent Sidhant Sibal, Naravane also said that after the 2018 Wuhan informal summit, India and China forces have developed greater understanding.

WION: What will be your key priorities as the new Army Chief?

Army Chief: Happy new year and thanks for having me here. After taking over as Army Chief, my priority is to ensure the operational preparedness of the Army and make sure that we are never found wanting and we are able to meet any threat as and when it arises.

WION: We saw the Wuhan informal summit after the Dokalm. How do you see the situation evolving on India-China border now? 

Army Chief: After the Wuhan summit, certain strategic guidelines were formulated and these have been decimated to the armies on both sides. As a result, there has been greater understanding and bonhomie at the ground level.

We have regular border personnel meetings. This kind of interaction has gone a long way in dispelling misperceptions and fostering greater understanding among ourselves.

WION: Hopefully, there won't be another Doklam, one can rest assured?

Army Chief: That is one hopes for.

WION: How big is the issue of cross border terrorism emanating from Pakistan?

Army Chief: This problem of terrorism is not something new. We have been tackling this for many years now, we have very strong counter-terrorist and counter-infiltration bid to deal with this situation. But, the fact remains that terror camps, terror launch pads and terror infrastructure continue to be where it used to be. We are keeping a close eye on this to make sure nothing untoward takes place on our side.

WION: If another Pulwama happens, can we see the Indian Army doing another surgical strike?

Army Chief: You see, every response is dynamic in nature and what response will be in the future it will be not correct to speculate it right now. What the response will be, what dimension it will be, that will remain to be seen as and when it happens.

WION: Pakistan Foreign Minister said, India is removing fences; any reaction?

Army Chief: I think, reports that say certain fencing has been removed or some troops have been positioned or stationed, those were just false propaganda on his part to raise the level and divert the attention of his own countrymen from the situation that is prevailing in his own country. There is nothing, that sort from our side.

WION: What has been the situation on the ground post removal of Article 370 for the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir?

Army Chief: Post abrogation of Article 370, there has been a definitive improvement in the situation on the ground. I say this based on facts and figures of various indices. The incident of violence, be it stone-pelting, terrorist-related violence, all have seen a sharp decline. 

There is a great improvement in law and order situation and hope it augers well for J&K.

WION: Has there been a reduction in infiltration level from across the LoC?

Army Chief: As I mentioned little while earlier, terror camps and infrastructure remain intact on the other side of the Line of Control and we are keeping a close eye on that. Attempts at infiltration continue to be made and we have been successful in foiling these attempts and this high level of alertness and preparedness on our side will continue. We will not let our guard down.

WION: How do you see women's role in the Army?

Army Chief: We have been inducting women in the armed forces. As you know, earlier, women were only in the Army Medical Corps and gradually we opened it up for the services, that is the Army service corp. Then we broadened the avenues like the supporting arms such as the engineers. There is a continues transition that is taking place.