New Delhi, January 1
New Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Sunday said the country and the force want to maintain peace and tranquillity on the border but it will not shy away from using its power in any form.
Setting to rest all speculation, Rawat also made it clear that Eastern Army commander Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi and Southern commander Lt Gen P M Hariz will continue to serve the Army and help maintain the force’s unity and power. Rawat had superseded Bakshi and Hariz to become the 27th chief of the Army.
“Our country, our army wants peace and tranquillity at the border. But it does not mean that we are weak. We are capable and powerful in all forms and if need be, we will not shy away from using our power in any form. Our aim is that peace is maintained at the border. But I will say it again that if need be, we will not hesitate in using our power,” he said after reviewing the Guard of Honour at the South Block here.
India shares a 3,323-km boundary with Pakistan, including the vexed 749-km Line of Control (LoC) which witnessed several ceasefire violations by Pakistan in 2016. The Army had lost over 60 soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir last year.
Seeking to boost the morale of all the ranks, the Army chief said, “I am fully conscious of my responsibility to the rank and file of the Army. Every individual, every soldier in the army counts irrespective of the arms and service he belongs to because it is the contribution of every soldier that makes the Army efficient and strong.”
Rawat on Saturday had taken over charge as chief of the 13 lakh- strong Indian Army succeeding Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag who retired after 42 years of service.