New Delhi: Indian Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag on Tuesday accused Pakistan of supporting proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir despite suffering casualties in its own backyard.
Commenting on the ceasefire violations, General Suhag said that the Army neutralised 104 terrorists in 2014. He added that Pakistan has shifted its focus to the International border (IB) as the Line of Control (LoC) is heavily guarded by the Army.
Gen Suhag said that recent terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir showed that terrorist camps in Pakistan were intact.
"Recent strikes by terrorists reflects their desperation. It also indicates that the (terrorist) infrastructure or camps across the border are intact," he said.
The Army Chief said one will have to "wait and watch" if Pakistan Army has had a change of heart since the gruesome attack on an Army school in Peshawar last month that drew condemnation in India.
He also said that Indian security forces are carefully watching the situation in Afghanistan and its possible spillover into India.
"Threats and challenges have been growing, both in intensity as well as commitment, because of active borders that we have," Singh said addressing his annual press conference.
The Army's top commander maintained that his men were free to take any action while operating on the ground. "The commanders have a free hand to operate. I have given full freedom as far as operation is concerned. On the LoC, they have a free hand to retaliate to Pakistan firing in a manner that they feel is appropriate," the Army chief said.
However, he asserted that the Army will maintain zero tolerance approach towards human rights violations by its personnel.
General Suhag also said that the reaction time in a 26/11-type situation will be less.
Talking about the situation in Afghanistan, Singh said the "spillover effect is being watched carefully".
He said the situation in Afghanistan has definitely improved to the extent that the US feels that they can leave the country to the Afghan national army to take care of the security situation.
"But definitely, the draw-down is likely to have its own effect. That cannot be ruled out. And we have to be prepared for it.
"Terrorist network can extend from Afghanistan to our side and J&K is one area where the effect could be felt. We are aware of this possibility and because of this we are keeping a careful watch," he said.
Asked if the country is in a position to prevent another 26/11 type attack, the Army chief said the issue comes under the Home Ministry.
"The synergy between the Army and the Home Ministry is brilliant," he said, pointing out that Army personnel are posted across the country and if there is a need, the Army would "always be ready to assist the efforts of MHA".
"I assure the nation that your Army is ready and prepared, motivated, equipped, and singularly focused to promote our national interests and to meet any security threats or challenges," he said.
On the issue of Chinese intrusions, the Army Chief said that the face-off between both the Asian giants is beacuse of no demarcation on the Line of Actual Contol.
General Suhag added that New Delhi was following the policy of engagement and confidence building measures, which have proven to be effective.