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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Pak will be punished if it tries dirty tricks: Army chief

Rahul Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 01, 2014
First Published: 13:35 IST(1/8/2014) | Last Updated: 19:56 IST(1/8/2014)

The Pakistani army will be punished if it employs dirty tricks along the Line of Control (LoC), Indian army chief General Dalbir Singh warned on his first day in office on Friday.

He said India's response would be "intense and immediate" if there was a repeat of provocations such as the beheading of an Indian soldier in January 2013 or the killing of five soldiers in a cross-border strike last August.

"I can tell you that our response to any such act will be more than adequate in future. It will be intense and immediate," he said.

Dalbir Singh's predecessor, General Bikram Singh, had on Thursday reiterated that India had avenged the murders of its soldiers along the LoC last year by inflicting casualties on the Pakistani army.

The former chief had said India could not be expected to stick to rules if the neighbour was breaking them. Bikram Singh had last year ordered the army to mount a massive response, including artillery fire, in case of provocation by the Pakistani army.

The rationale for immediate offensive action, now also being advocated by Dalbir Singh, seems to be inflicting punishment on Pakistan or the so-called non-state actors at a threshold below full-scale conflict.

Dalbir Singh said his priorities would be to modernise the army, fill critical gaps in capabilities and infrastructure development along the northern and northeastern borders.

In a border-related development, defence minister Arun Jaitley told Lok Sabha on Friday that Chinese troops had tailed an Indian patrol in eastern Ladakh on June 2, violating the new border pact inked last October.

As first reported by HT on Friday, Dalbir Singh will visit incursion-prone pockets along the Line of Actual Control — the de facto border between India and China — on August 12. He will assess the situation at Depsang, Chumar and Demchok, areas that have witnessed a series of border violations by Chinese troops.


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