New Delhi: Indian Army Chief Gen. Manoj Mukund Naravane on Friday sent a strong warning to Pakistan saying that nuclear weapons are only good for deterrence and the airstrike at the Balakot terrorist camp by the Indian Air Force in February last year showed that terrorists can’t operate with impunity.
“Historically nuclear weapons have been good deterrence and it is there where their role ends,” Gen. Naravane said during a select media interaction. He noted that recently India has been able to carry out two-three operations against Pakistan without the nuclear option coming into play.
Gen. Naravane was responding to a question on how India can strike against terrorists across the LoC without breaching the nuclear threshold. Gen. Naravane said around 200-250 terrorists were now waiting at different launchpads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir. He said daily infiltration attempts were being made.
He said the Balakot airstrike had shown that terrorist camps, their infrastructure and launchpads can be taken down. Gen. Naravane said as a result of Balakot there will be restraint by Pakistan and a note of caution before taking any escalatory action in future.
Gen. Naravane said the armed forces were preparing their modernisation not looking at the last war but the “next war”. He said in future wars will involve the use of more technology, robotics, cyberspace and artificial intelligence.
He said the proposal of Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat to create a new Air Defence Command to secure the country from aerial attacks was a good idea as this will allow the Army, Air Force and Navy to pool their resources and take a holistic view of air defences.
The Army Chief said he disagrees with the allegations about politicisation of the armed forces. “The armed forces have been apolitical right since Independence,” he said.
Gen. Naravane said that he agreed that infructuous ceremonial activities should be cut out. “All the three services — Army, Navy and Air Force — are on the same wavelength on this,” he said.