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‘Fighting option’ also open: Indian Army Chief

On the use of military option as a last resort,Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor said the decision was dependent on the political leadership when they felt that all other options,including international opinion,were exhausted.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi |
January 14, 2009 6:41:52 pm

Noting that Pakistan has moved troops towards border with India,Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor said New Delhi has kept all options open,including the ‘fighting option’ as a last resort.

Kapoor said tension between India and Pakistan were ‘larger’ in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks,but said there was no need to create any hysteria.

“We expect Pakistan to move some troops from FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) to its eastern borders with India. They have come to eastern border of Pakistan with India,” Kapoor told a press conference in New Delhi.

He said the Indian Army had already “factored this” into its planning and there was “no cause for concern” in India.

“There is a larger amount of tension after 26/11. Because we feel that the perpetrators of 26/11 came from Pakistan. In view of that,we in India are keeping all options open,” he said.

Elaborating on the options,he said these were ‘diplomatic,economic,or as a last resort,a fighting option’.

Kapoor said,there was ‘no need to create any kind of hysteria’.

On the use of military option as a last resort,Gen Kapoor said the decision was dependent on the political leadership when they felt that all other options,including international opinion,were exhausted.

“Our political leadership has said war is not an option. But all options are open. The situation remains at that stage,” he said to a query.

Regarding reports of some strike formations of the Indian Army moving towards the western borders,Kapoor said some of the formations were currently carrying out exercise in both the Mahajan ranges and Pokhran ranges and that the information had already been shared with the neighbouring country.

“It is part of an understanding that practice training be intimated. There has been some amount of clearing up of bunkers,which need to be maintained regularly. It need not become a cause for a war frenzy,” the Army Chief said.

On the threat of nuclear arsenal from Pakistan falling into terrorists’ hands,Kapoor said: “I wish it doesn’t happen.”

But,he said,if there was a degree of stability in Pakistan,this threat would not become a reality. “Nuclear weapon in the wrong hands is a cause for worry for the entire globe,” he added.

Asked if India,having helped Afghanistan to rebuild infrastructure,should get a strategic presence there to squeeze Pakistan,the General said it was for the political leaders to take a policy decision on the matter.

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