Lucknow: Army chief General VK Singh on Wednesday said that Indian armed forces were "competent" to carry out an operation similar to the one conducted by the US in Pakistan against Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
"I would like to say only this that if such a chance comes, then all the three arms (of the military) are competent to do this," Singh, who was in Lucknow for a function at a Sainik School, told reporters.
The General was asked whether the Indian armed forces could successfully carry out an operation like the US forces undertook against bin Laden in Abbottabad near Islamabad.
"Whether the US sought permission or not (from Pakistan) has to be asked from them," he said in a reply to another question.
Shortly after the US operation, Air Chief Marshal PV Naik had also said India has the capability to carry out such surgical strikes against terrorists but did not elaborate.
"India has the capability," he had told reporters when asked whether India can undertake surgical strikes against terrorists similar to that by the US.
The statements assume significance as there had been demands after 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that India should carry out surgical strikes on terror camps in Pakistan.
On Osama's killing, Naik had hoped it would reduce the impact or intensity of terrorism.
"There is one less terrorist in the world. He was an iconic figure on the terrorist world. It is good thing that he has been eliminated," he had said while talking on the sidelines of the annual PC Lall memorial lecture in Lucknow.
Asked if India was increasing its security measures after Osama's killing, Naik had said, "He (Osama) controlled a large group. There is a chance that this group may do something in retaliation. So every sane man would increase his security status till you analyse. India is also doing the same."