Colombo, June 8 (www.southasianmonitor.com): India is mulling greater deployment of armor and Special Forces on its borders with Pakistan and China in view of the sustained threat from those two countries, the Indian defense journal Bharat Shakti reports.
According to the journal, this was among other ideas, discussed at a conference of Indian Army top brass including army chief Gen.Bipin Rawat at Srinagar last Friday and Saturday.
The concave had kicked off discussions on formulating a five-year road map for India’s land forces.
The agenda is to fashion a coherent, effective plan to deal with the existing and future threats along both the Western and Eastern fronts.
Among the areas to be covered are: managing the LoC; India’s posture along the International Border in Punjab and Rajasthan; deployment of Indian armor and optimum use of Special Forces for strategic operations.
The seven regional army commanders agreed that Pakistan is unlikely to stop its proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir in the near future. They also noted that since 2013 the highly-trained and well-armed terrorists have been told to specifically target security forces in order to provoke India into a hasty reaction, Bharat Shakti said .
A number of attacks on military garrisons, convoys and outposts, at Uri, Nagrota, Samba, Mohora gun position, and the Hyderpora attack on Army convoy could be given as examples of the chosen targets.
Alarm in Pakistan Addressed
“The brainstorming session generated alarm and bit of panic across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan since it was attended by the Army Chief, all the seven Army Commanders, CISC (head of Integrated Defense Staff) and the Director Generals of Army, Air Force and Naval Operations besides select Corps Commanders,” the journal noted.
“Not sure of the purpose and outcome of the unusual and high level meeting, Pakistan activated all its radars along the border and cancelled leave for all its troops under 12 and 23 Divisions besides those under FCNA (Force Commander Northern Areas), Indian intelligence reports said.”
“The Pakistan Air Force also put its frontline bases on operational readiness, the reports added.”
“Monday’s unscheduled telephonic conversation between the Indian and Pakistani Directors General of Military Operations (DGMOs)—at Pakistan’s request—would have however reassured Pakistan that India was not initiating any aggressive move along the LoC, top sources said.”
“The Indian DGMO, who was also part of the Srinagar Conclave, assured his counterpart that India was committed to ensuring peace and tranquility along the LoC.”
“But, the Indian DGMO also warned, “If Pak Army continues to abet infiltration and cause trans-LoC firings, Indian Army will take appropriate retaliatory actions.”
“The DGMO’s clear warning is in keeping with the Indian army’s recent aggressive posture along the LoC.’
TheIndia narmy top brass discussed ways to prevent such attacks and minimize casualties besides deliberating upon options for counter-attacks and employing different pressure points on the LoC.
The top commanders also gazed in the crystal ball to discern likely Chinese moves along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and in Giligit-Baltistan, Bharat Shakti adds.
“According to participants in the conclave, it was decided to speed up the infrastructure projects along the LAC and also tweak deployment of forces. After having inserted a regiment of tanks in Ladakh in 2013, moves are afoot to increase the armor strength in high altitude areas. Raising of one more mountain division for the Mountain Strike Corps is already under way. The timeline for raising the full strength 17 Mountain Corps has now been tweaked to align with more realistic targets, sources said.”
Creating Uncertainty in Pakistani minds
A senior Army official told The Indian Express that the meeting had been organized to create “uncertainty” in the mind of Pakistan, the adversary.
“Following the beheading of two security personnel by a Pakistan Army Border Action Team on the LoC last month, the Pakistani side has been in a state of high alert, fearing an Indian response. Such visits by the military brass, the official said, are likely to keep them guessing about the Indian Army’s plan of action,” the paper said.
(The featured image at the top shows Indian army chief Gen.Bipin Rawat)