Army chief General Dalbir Singh Wednesday said the Pakistan Army has derailed talks between the two nations “many times in the past”.
Declining to comment on Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement that those who inflict pain should “receive pain” and if the Army had the capability to carry out a cross-border strike as was done in Myanmar last year, Singh said the “Army possesses capability of undertaking any task” assigned to it by the government.
He said while Pakistan had closed down many terrorist training camps on its side of the border due to “international pressure”, 17 of 42 camps were still active.
Speaking to reporters in New Delhi ahead of Army Day, he rejected claims that there was lack of coordination among agencies involved in counter-terror operations in Pathankot.
“Army was not under anybody’s command. It was under the command of the Western Army Commander (who was) monitoring the operation on my behalf…There were other agencies (such as) NSG, state police… Contrary to reports that there were only two columns, there were eight columns of the Army, each with 70 people, (besides) Para Special Forces… On ground, it was the Army.”
“I had given three instructions: secure ground assets — families and students, Air Force Station has 10,000 plus population — area of contact must be controlled… not to allow escape, and avoid casualty. On Day One, the operations took place.
Next day, four (terrorists) were killed… Casualties happened in the initial stage. After that, there was not a single operational casualty.”
He called the operation a “success” and said the NSG was the “most suitable” agency to deal with the attack.
To a question on whether he thought the Pakistan Army was trying to derail the Foreign Secretary-level talks scheduled for January 15, Singh said: “It (Pakistan Army) has done it many times. I am not saying this in connection (with the Pathankot attack).”