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Indian Forces Can Take Control of PoK if Given Orders from Political Authority, Says Army Chief Naravane

Gen Naravane also said that the Army will remain very vigilant at the Siachen glacier as there was a possibility of collusion between China and Pakistan against India in the strategically sensitive area.

PTI

Updated:January 11, 2020, 6:42 PM IST
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Indian Forces Can Take Control of PoK if Given Orders from Political Authority, Says Army Chief Naravane
File photo of General Manoj Mukund Naravane.

New Delhi: Army Chief General MM Naravane on Saturday said his force can take control of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir if it gets orders from political authority, in what is seen as a strong message to Islamabad.

In a press conference ahead of the Army Day, Naravane said the Army will remain very vigilant at the Siachen glacier as there was a possibility of collusion between China and Pakistan against India in the strategically sensitive area.

"As far as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is concerned, many years ago there was a parliamentary resolution on it that entire J&K is part of India. If Parliament wants that area should also belong to us and if we get orders to that effect, then definitely we will take action on it," the Army Chief said.

He was replying to a question on whether the Army was ready to reclaim Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK).

A resolution by Parliament in February 1994 stated that Pakistan must vacate the areas of Jammu and Kashmir, which it has occupied through aggression, and resolved that all attempts made by Islamabad to interfere in India's internal affairs will be dealt with resolutely.

After India withdrew special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two union territories, several important functionaries said that the focus now should be on reclaiming PoK.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had also said that if talks were to be held with Pakistan, then they will be only on PoK.

Asked about the situation at Siachen glacier, Gen Naravane said Indian forces should not lose sight as there could be collusion between China and Pakistan in the area.

"We need to hold on to it. This can take place at any level, but Siachen and Shaksgam Valley are the places where the territory of these two countries meets," said the Army Chief.

On the killing of two civilians by Pakistan Army in Poonch sector in Jammu and Kashmir, Gen Naravane said Indian Army does not resort to such barbaric activities.

"We do not resort to such barbaric activities and fight as a very professional force. We will deal appropriately with such situations in a military manner," he said.

He said the Indian Army conducts itself in the most professional and ethical manner including on the LoC.

"Professional armies never resort to barbaric acts," he said.

On complaints of misconduct against the Army in Jammu and Kashmir, Gen Naravane said investigations concluded that all the allegations were "unfounded".

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