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Army maintaining 'robust posture' at borders, will protect nation's territorial integrity at all costs: General Manoj Pande

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande attends a musical concert of Indian Army Symphony Band as part of the Army Day celebrations in Lucknow on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024. (Photo: PTI)

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian Army continues to maintain a "robust posture" at the borders and is prepared to protect the country's territorial integrity at "all costs", Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande said on Sunday, amid the over three-year festering border row with China in eastern Ladakh.

On the eve of the Army Day, Gen Pande said the force is fully committed with an "unwavering resolve" to counter any security threat, asserting that its fundamental character, core ethos and professionalism will enable it to live up to the expectations of citizens.

He said the transition towards becoming a modern, agile, adaptive, technology-enabled and future-ready force shall continue as part of the transformation roadmap.

"Each member of the 'Olive Green' fraternity is fully committed, with an unwavering resolve, to counter security threats to the nation," he said.

"We continue to maintain a robust posture at the borders and stand prepared to protect our territorial integrity, at all costs," he said in a message aired on All India Radio.

Without naming Pakistan, Gen Pande said the Army along with other security forces are dealing with the "proxy war" in Jammu and Kashmir with a professional approach.

"In combating proxy war in the hinterland, our professional approach and synergized operations with other security forces continue," he said.

"The Indian Army has a vital role to play in ensuring a stable and secure environment, which is crucial for the nation's progress to continue unabated," he said.

Gen Pande assured the nation that the Indian Army remains "steadfast as a guardian" of India's path to progress.

"Today, the nation is at the cusp of a new era. Collectively, we have envisioned to emerge as a developed nation when we celebrate the centenary milestone. I wish to assure the nation that the Indian Army remains steadfast, as a guardian of the nation's path to progress," he said.

The top General said the Indian Army is well-trained, equipped, combat-hardened and prepared to take on any security threat or challenge that may come the nation's way.

"To prepare ourselves to be future-ready, we had set into motion a holistic transformation process last year. We have made good progress and many milestones have been achieved," he said.

The Army Chief said his force's capability development endeavours stand on the edifice of Atmanirbhartha (self-reliance) to which it is firmly committed.

"The transition towards becoming a modern, agile, adaptive and technology-enabled, future-ready force, shall continue as part of our transformation roadmap," he said.

The Indian Army will be observing the year 2024 as the 'Year of Technology Absorption' – a theme which underscores our focus and effort to leverage technology, as a catalyst for transformative change, he said.

"The Indian Army has carved a special place for itself in the nation's mind space. The faith and encouragement shown by our countrymen further strengthen our pledge and commitment.

"Our fundamental character, core ethos, professionalism and fabric of discipline, will enable us to live up to the expectations of our citizens.

"We will forever remain steadfast and firm in our resolve to uphold the trust reposed in us, by the nation," he said.

The Army Chief also talked about the Army's commitments to the ex-servicemen.

"Our responsibility towards veterans and Veer Naris remains a sacred commitment. Endeavours to augment welfare initiatives, proactively reach out to them and address their grievances, continue," he said.

The Army Day parade will be held in Lucknow on Monday.

Army Day is celebrated on January 15 every year to commemorate the achievements of the first Indian Commander in Chief of the Army, Field Marshal K M Cariappa.

Cariappa took over the command of the Indian Army from General Francis Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief, on January 15, 1949.

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