Army's capabilities have grown since Kargil war: Lt Gen Hooda

Indian Army on Sunday said its capabilities have grown "exponentially" since the Kargil war and the force was confident of dealing with any kind of situation on the borders with Pakistan and China.

Drass: Indian Army on Sunday said its capabilities have grown "exponentially" since the Kargil war and the force was confident of dealing with any kind of situation on the borders with Pakistan and China.

"We are fully confident on both the borders. There used to be only a brigade before the Kargil war. Now there is a full division.

"Readiness has improved many manifold and similarly, with the counter-terrorism grid, measures have been put in place and so along the LAC with China, the capabilities have grown exponentially," Northern Army Commander Lt General D S Hooda told reporters after laying a wreath at the Kargil War Memorial here.

"So, I just want to tell everyone, tell the nation, please be confident. We are there on the borders and our capability exists to do well," he said.

The army commander said there was a difference in perception with regard to the border with China, but both the sides understand that the border needs to be kept calm and peaceful.

"There are some areas where there is a difference in perception of Line of Actual Control (LAC). It is not that there are differences all along the LAC, but there are few areas where there are problems.

He said both the sides undertake patrolling up to their perception of LAC. "So, just as we look at Chinese action as transgression, they look at our actions as transgression. But the overall sense is that there needs to be peace and calm on the border," he said.

The army commander said there is regular engagement with the Chinese army and the kind of tension that takes place on the LoC is not there at the LAC.

"Border meetings take place very regularly and therefore you will find that in this area, the kind of tensions that take place on LoC are not there.

"I mean we have had incidents that like in Dipsang in 2013 and 2014 but there is an understanding on both sides that we need to keep the border calm. Both the sides understand that there are limits which they do not cross," he said.

Lt Gen Hooda said the army has taken action to counter infiltration and was considering replacing the existing fence with a hi-tech one.

"This year there have been seven to eight infiltration bids. Traditionally, when the snow starts melting, the infiltration starts. In the next three-four months, you will find an increase in infiltration attempts.

"We have taken actions. This year we have actually increased deployment along the borders. More troops have gone up. We are looking at a hi-tech fence to replace the existing fence, so more surveillance measures are being taken. I think we are confident about dealing with this," he said.


: Indian Army on Sunday acknowledged that there was a shortage of ammunition, but said the government was seized of the matter and attempts were being made to address the issue.

"See it has been reported in Parliament, there is some shortages of ammunition that exist and lets not really direct it at any one or specific to one border.

"The weaponry is common in the Indian Army but there are some shortages in some ammunition and there are efforts to try and build up these stocks," Army's Northern Commander Lt gen DS Hooda told reporters here.

He said though the day-to-day operations of the army would not be affected by the shortage, there needs to be a huge build up in a war-like situation.

"Frankly, it will not, sort of, effect the day to day operation.That level of stocks is available.But if you are looking at war time, then you need to build up huge amount of stocks. There are some shortages and the government is seized of it. The MoD is seized of it and there are attempts (to address that)," he said.

On the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP), he said the government has accepted it and "I am hopeful that it will come".

Lt Gen Hooda said the force understands the requirements of its soldiers and was extremely sensitive to their needs.

"Frankly, the military is such an organisation where the bonding is close.The kind of welfare that we look into, basic items are all there for the soldier.

"Let me tell you that as far as the requirement of the soldiers is, everyone is extremely sensitive to their needs and the one sole agenda of the senior officers is that the guy on the border has what he needs," he said.