Army Chief rules out repeat of 1962



New Delhi: Ruling out the possibility of repeat of 1962, Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh on Wednesday said India has "plans in place" and infrastructure along the China border was being upgraded even though more was required.

"No. It will not be repeated. I am assuring the nation as Chief of the Army Staff that 1962 will not be repeated. No way," he said during his first formal interaction with media after taking over on May 31.

The country's borders are "well protected and the Army will not allow the enemy to cross it," he said when asked if India could face the repeat of 1962 when it lost war against China.

"Such an event will not be repeated as the country's forces have got plans in place to protect the territorial integrity of the nation," he said ahead of the 50th anniversary of Sino-India war.

"I am not talking about any country. I am only assuring as Chief of the Army Staff. We have plans in place to safeguard the territorial integrity of our country. That is the assurance I am giving you," he said.

When asked about India's preparedness and if he was satisfied with infrastructure development in the Northeast especially Arunachal Pradesh, he said several projects are going on there... Our preparations are going on well."

At the same time, the Army Chief said, "yeh dil maange more (the heart wants more)".

About the move to create Mountain Strike Corps and brigades to be deployed along the China border, Gen Singh said these were not being set up "in view of any one particular country."

Asked if the proposal to raise the Mountain Strike Corps had been shelved, the Army Chief said, "it has not been shelved and is undergoing a process of validation."

He said, "Certain observations have been made in this process and we are getting back again to the Government. You have to create a capability in view of the national security."

The Army has proposed to raise a Mountain Strike Corps along the boundary with China in view of the major military infrastructure buildup by the Chinese side On the presence of Chinese troops in PoK, Gen Singh said, "We have already conveyed this to the Government and whatever is there, we have our frontiers guarded well."

The Army Chief said there was information about the presence of Chinese soldiers in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) but did not give any figure.

"We are told that Chinese soldiers are there to provide protection to their ongoing projects related to their railways, road and hydro-electric projects there and it is basically for security purposes," he said.

India has already expressed concern to China over the presence of its troops in the territory, which forms part of undivided Jammu and Kashmir.

Reports in the recent past have suggested that around 4,000 Chinese troops are present in PoK.

PTI