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'No war cloud on Indo-Pak border'

Source: PTI
January 12, 2009 17:18 IST
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There is no sign of war in the border regions, a top Indian army officer said on Monday.

"I see no war cloud in the Indo-Pak border regions," General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Army's Central Command Lt Gen J K Mohanty said in Bhubaneshwar.

Ever since terrorists of Pakistani origin launched an attack at the heart of Mumbai, there has been fears of India going to war with Pakistan.

India has always wanted a friendly relation with its neighbours, but, it was 200 per cent ready to deal with any situation if they cross the limit, he said.

When asked about the reported troop mobilisation by Pakistan after the November 26 strikes, Mohanty said India was hardly bothered about such an exercise.

"India will pay back in the same coin, or even in a more meaningful way if Pakistan dares attack us," he said.

Stating that Pakistan had been isolated across the globe following the terror attack, he said Islamabad would never dare to launch attack. "We are sure Pakistan will never repeat the same mistake it did earlier."

Lieutenant General Mohanty's statement came a day after Air Chief Marshal F H Major said the forces were ready to meet any eventuality.

To a question on Maoist problem in Orissa and some other states, Lt Gen Mohanty said it was the state government's responsibility. "If they (states) require army help, we are ready for it. But the army should be approached as a last resort," he pointed out.

Appreciating the steps taken by the Orissa government to tackle the increasing left wing extremist activities, he said it had already recruited 400 ex-service personnel to fight the Maoists.

Besides, the state government had decided to recruit 1594 more former defence personnel, Mohanty said, adding the "the army may consider setting up its unit in Maoist affected districts of Orissa, if the state government asks for it."

He said the army had already trained Orissa police personnel to deal with improvised explosive devices. If required, the army would not hesitate to train more police personnel.

Disapproving the idea of establishment of army regiments on the basis of states, Mohanty said the practice was introduced by the British who wanted to keep India divided "even among the defence personnel".

Earlier, the state government had demanded establishment of Kalinga regiment in the army.

Mohanty, however, said it was unfortunate that youths of Orissa did not get proper representation in the army. "Instead of demanding a separate regiment, we should ensure that youths from the state get adequate placement in the army," he said.

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