M A I N   N E W S

If Pak provokes, we’ll hit back hard: Gen Suhag
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 1
Adopting an aggressive posture, new Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag today gave a stern warning to Pakistan, saying a military response to any misadventure from Islamabad would be ‘intense, immediate’ and more than adequate.

The warning comes a day after Suhag’s predecessor General Bikram Singh (retd) said India gave a befitting reply to Pakistan after the 2013 beheading incident along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. General Suhag was talking to reporters after inspecting a guard of honour on his first day in office.

Responding to a question as to what was the befitting reply given to Pakistan in 2013, General Suhag said: “I can only tell you that our response to any such act will be more than adequate in the future...It will be intense and immediate.”

General Bikram Singh had already told you about the response yesterday, he said.

Pakistani Special Forces troops had beheaded Lance Naik Hemraj and mutilated the body of another jawan Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh along the LoC in Poonch.The incident had resulted in widespread outrage across India. Bikram Singh said yesterday that he did not foresee a war with China but evaded reply to a query pertaining to a possible future conflict with Pakistan.

Both India and Pakistan have nuclear weapon capabilities and the dispute in J&K raises the risk of a major skirmish. In June this year, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said India's nuclear warhead count was between 90 and 110, while the figure for Pakistan was 100-120.

General Suhag — who will be Army Chief till December 31, 2016 — said the thrust would be on enhancing the operational preparedness of the force. Modernisation of the force, infrastructure development, optimisation of human resources and welfare of serving soldiers would be the other focus areas, said Suhag. “My focus will be my soldier. I will ensure that our soldiers are motivated and are competently led and trained. They will get latest weapons and equipment,” said the Army Chief..

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the government for reposing faith in me,” said Suhag, who was appointed as the Army Chief by the outgoing UPA regime. The newly elected NDA-led BJP regime fully backed the previous government’s decision. Though former Army Chief General (retd) VK Singh, now a Union Minister, had questioned Suhag’s elevation, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley put his foot down and supported Suhag. 





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